What if you found some money lying on the casino floor or maybe a cell phone at the game table? You will want to have it. Right. But what if you lost your wallet at the casino .. hmm…now you are worried. Isn’t it? Many such lost and found cases are reported almost daily at the casinos. Losing money while gambling is of course a matter of frustration but the bigger problem is if you drop or forget something at the casino.
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Now don’t panic. It is your fault too, to carry a wallet full of money at the casino. I remember how my uncle taught me to carry money making a decoy wallet so that it is all safe. Let me share that secret with you first. Always carry a wallet with a small amount of cash and more paper like useless business cards or expired ID cards stuffed in it. Never carry all the cash in your wallet. Distribute it to different places. If going to the casino the rule is not to carry anything valuable at all and go empty to have fun.
But unfortunately, if you have lost your wallet here are the 11 things to do:
1. Be Calm
Think with your cool head did you lose it or have you left it in your hotel room or your car? You should check first where you last took out your wallet may be at a toll booth or fast food drive. So verify in your mind whether you did indeed have lost it or not.
2. Retrieve it without exposing yourself
If your wallet is lost, especially if you think you lost it in the pit, your goal is to retrieve it without exposing yourself. You don’t want the pit personnel to be able to match a name and a face, and you don’t want to have to sign anything or give up more information to pit people.
What happens at most casinos is that items lost in the pit are sent to central Lost-and-Found at the security desk. However, because the loser of the item might return in a few minutes, the boss may keep the item in the pit for a while, perhaps until the end of the shift.
So wait until the boss goes on break, and then request a teammate to go over to the pit. Now let your teammate ask very casually the floor person, “Did you see any wallet?”. “I think I might have lost mine here.” Here you are not trying to have your teammate lay claim to your wallet, because that could trigger trouble if they see that his name doesn’t match what’s in the wallet.
What you’re trying to do is ascertain whether the pit has a wallet or not. The floor person will check the drawer, or ask other personnel, and someone might say, “Yes, we have a wallet. What’s your name?” Then you say, “My name is Sandy, shucks that wallet isn’t mine. My wallet is black, not brown. Thanks for checking.” If the pit doesn’t have a wallet, have your teammate go to Lost-and-Found and do the same thing.
If the pit has the wallet, have your teammate play in the pit to watch what happens to the wallet until the end of the shift. See if it gets sent to Lost-and-Found, or if it stays in the pit. You’re going to try to retrieve the item on the next shift.
You don’t want to have to deal with things given the pit; however, getting the item back from the pit is often easiest. You might be able to talk your way through that with no paperwork or anything, but once the item goes to Lost-and-Found, it gets logged in, further exposed to employee theft, and you’ll probably have to present your ID and/or sign for the item to retrieve it.
3. Know the state laws and casino policies
It also depends on the state where you lose your things. Some states have laws that give specific details about these sorts of incidents. Many casinos explain about found money not belonging to people who had not put money at risk in the first place.
A casino visitor whose main purpose is to look for credits left on machines would always sit down at the machine and put in some money. They have tickets of small amounts readily stashed in their pockets. Then they would usually play at least one hand, often just one coin at the lowest denomination, before cashing out. This muddies the water a bit if the casino is trying to track things and gives the person a little more time to go to a kiosk and cash out and make his escape. This tactic also gives them a “defence” to say “I didn’t notice there were already credits on the machine when I started playing!”
The legal definition of “theft of lost property” in Nevada is when a person knowingly and without lawful authority “comes into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of another person…and appropriates that property to his or her use or that of another person without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner.”
According to a Nevada lawyer, “It is not always reliable to research legal issues. You might find a statute that a court has interpreted differently or miss other statutes that control over the one you found.” Another lawyer, who specializes in gaming litigation, said that he believes that as long as the machine with credits has been abandoned, the other party can cash out the machine without violating Nevada law. However, he cautioned that the other party cashing out must not have a reasonable belief that the player will return.
This opinion addresses the difference between “finders-keepers” and definitive criminal action. Suppose a man was standing at his machine talking with a friend, with his back to the cash-out button which was on the aisle side of the machine. A crook came along and pushed the button, grabbed the ticket, and walked away, all so quickly and quietly that he didn’t see or hear a thing. He didn’t notice anything wrong until a couple of minutes later when he sat down and started to play and then realized that he didn’t have any credits. He traced the ticket, but it was cashed at a kiosk within a couple of minutes and the perp was long gone. The casino never offered to check video tapes, so it was losers-weepers for him.
People convicted of stealing lost property are ordered to pay Nevada victim restitution. In addition, they face the following punishments;
•If the property is worth less than $650, the sentence is up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000
•If the property is worth at least $650 but under $3,500, the sentence is 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison and maybe up to $10,000.
•If the property is worth $3,500 or more, the sentence is 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000.
On some issues, like losing money or chips on the casino floor or accidentally leaving credits on a machine when the casino doesn’t choose to pursue criminal charges, you might have a civil legal matter. However, again, there is an expense in this and casinos may not always want to help you, i.e., by providing video tapes that might show you who took your money. So it is better to be careful.
4. You have 30 days to claim your loss at the casino resorts
You have 30 days to contact the resort to arrange the return of your belongings. Using the casino’s online Lost and Found system, people desperate to find their lost items are paired with their found belongings. At the end of the month, everything that is unclaimed is deemed forfeited and recycled.
Several Las Vegas charities benefit from the unclaimed property which can include clothing, shoes, cameras and stacks of laptop computers. The most valuable items are photographed for auction online. Anything that does not sell is sent to Goodwill stores. All the proceeds, tens of thousands of dollars annually, help Goodwill help others get back to work in Southern Nevada.
The casino resort’s goal is to reach out and reunite guests with their items, but with a 30-40 per cent redemption rate, the good news is local charities are the beneficiaries.
There are roughly more than 20,000 items landed in casino resorts Lost and Found each year. Right from cell phones, chargers, sunglasses, clothing, jewellery and wallets
5. Contact Lost and Found at the Casinos
Almost all the casinos have a lost and found section. Also, they have an online form to be filled out. You need to complete the online Lost and Found Form. Once you have completed the form, click on the submit button. You will receive a confirmation e-mail that your form has been entered into their system for processing. Upon completion of their investigation of your lost item, a notification e-mail will be sent to you.
Also, you can report lost or found items to the Hotel Front Desk or Casino Security Operations office. You can have inquiries regarding lost items directed to the casino Security Operations department too. Always have the contact details and phone numbers of the casino when visiting.
6. Call the police or security at the casino
If you suspect your wallet was stolen, call the police. Even though the police might not be able to track down your wallet, putting in a report will cover you in other ways. If a thief does try committing identity fraud, you’ll have to prove that you aren’t responsible for the costs.
7. Close your debit and credit cards
If you had credit or debit cards in your wallet then close your accounts as soon as possible. Start with debt, which can be even more devastating than having a credit card stolen. The money is coming right out of your bank account, whereas credit is a credit card company’s money so act fast—you’ll be liable for up to only $50 of fraudulent charges if you report it within two business days, but any longer and you could lose $500 or more. Credit cards, on the other hand, have a 60-day gap for you to report. Or you can even swap out a debit card for an ATM card, which lets you take out or deposit cash and checks but can’t be swiped to pay at a store or restaurant.
8. Freeze your credit
When your wallet is stolen a credit freeze will keep thieves from opening any new accounts. What the credit card company does is refund your account if there’s fraud. They’re just forgiving the debt, not guarding your credit. You’ll have to call the credit reporting companies to freeze your credit, There’s a fee of about $10 every time you freeze and unfreeze and it’s free if you’re an identity theft victim and provides extra protection that’s hard to crack.
9. Set up a monitoring program
With so many apps available you can take the help of a program that keeps an eye on your credit especially if you lost your Social Security card. With a monitoring program, you’ll get an email, text, or phone notification whenever you or anyone else tries to apply for credit to confirm that it’s you. Unlike programs that only tell you after the fact, you’ll have a chance to step in before the damage is done.
10. Keep an eye on your accounts
Closely monitor before and after you lose your wallet. Depending on what your bank or credit card offers, you could get an email, text message, or app notification alerting you of account activity. Go through your statements regularly to make sure everything is accurate. Some thieves sell cards based on zip code, meaning the credit card company will think charges seem normal and won’t issue a warning, though you’ll recognize the extra costs.
11. You can call the State Department of Motor Vehicles
With information about your home address, full name, and birth date, a driver’s license can make it easier for a thief to steal your identity. A driver’s license can be a very important piece of information in the authentication process. Call your state’s department of motor vehicles for a new license, and the agency should flag your old card for suspicious activity.
What you should do if you found money or a valuable item at a casino
If you are visiting a hot casino you can happen to find many things on the floor like Chips, cash and slot credits or drop cash at once approach the security and hand it over to them. Remember there are CCTV and security that could approach you and ask you to return it. Legally, if you find something you have to make a reasonable attempt to find the rightful owner, otherwise it is theft. So tell your manager and hand it over as soon as possible. Though many cases go unreported and casinos take no action it is better to avoid trouble later on if things go worse.
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