Why Do Casinos Block Cell Phones

We explain the reasons why, often, casinos block mobile phones and cell phone signal. It's mostly about safety, cheating prevention, and privacy.

why do casinos block cell phones
Why Do Casinos Block Cell Phones

Bringing in cell phones to a casino floor is allowed and will barely be bothered when using it in the slots area. However, casino staff and security frown upon the use of phones while playing at nearly any table games. This article will explain why casinos block cell phones and how they can do it.

5 Reasons Why Casinos Block Mobile Phones

Casinos have legitimate reasons for preventing any patrons to use their phones within the premises such as security protocols and privacy protection. Other reasons include a psychological method to keep patrons playing.

1. Keep High Levels of Security

Security personnel is on high alert for any suspicious behavior among all patrons, including anyone who is on their phones. Casinos do not want pictures of sensitive areas of the establishment floating around the net, especially the cages.

Criminals tend to use their phones or other recording devices to case an establishment, noting the CCTV placement and number of security details on the floor. Every piece of information gathered from a phone can show the weakness or blind spots in a casino's security, allowing management to catch potential cheaters within the premises.

Staff and security personnel also do not want to have their pictures due to privacy and safety concerns. Imagine being a casino dealer and you have a frustrated patron taking your picture. Are they going to use the photo to find where the dealer lives or look up their address to dox them? Concerning scenarios are understandable reasons why any casino staff does not want any phones to take a picture of them.

2. Protect Gamblers' Privacy

Every casino patron opposes being captured in a photo or video without asking them for consent. Management knows a majority of their guests unintentionally include other people in their selfies or group shot, which is why security often dissuade taking pictures within the premises. Casinos will even warn patrons when professional photographers are on the premises taking pictures of the gaming floor to protect guests' privacy.

Privacy is highly valuable to any individual. Think of a celebrity who made a name for themselves for their clean branding image such as actors involved in family movies. A single picture of that celebrity that would hardly fit 1% of any phone's memory size can devastate that person's career. Taking pictures through a cell phone could deter big name patrons from spending their sizable bankroll in the casino.

For a relatable example, imagine a family man with no known vices. Pictures of him at a roulette table can lead to marital issues when the image reaches his family.

3. Prevent Cheating

In the modern era of smartphones, you can find numerous apps available to the public that gives you the edge over the house. One example is a card counter for blackjack that players use in knowing the right time to hit, stand, and double their bet.

For the best edge against the house, high-end computers can perform probability calculations and statistical formulas on the outcome of certain games. For example, cheaters use a built-in laser scanner in their phones to measure the ball's speed in a roulette wheel and send the data to their computer. Calculations from the computer provide the user with an accurate prediction of where the ball will land.

Phones also allow cheaters to illegally make bank with slots by using an app that calculates the program's RNG. Once the app recognizes an online slot's algorithm, it gives a signal as to when a cheater should spin the button for a favorable result with high payout rates.

4. Isolate You From The Outside World

When you step into any casino, have you wondered why there are no windows or even clocks around? Removing any indication on the time of day makes a player focus more on the bright and loud attractions in front of them. Honing that focus will make players want to keep playing for a long period.

One effective way of breaking the casino's illusion of time standing still is to check on your email or social media timeline through your phone. Even if the device is on, any incoming text or call can break your tunnel vision to bring you back to reality.

Smartphones have a way of distracting people from continuously spinning the reels to get that elusive progress jackpot or scoring the 35 to 1 single number roulette bet. Every minute a player spends on their phone, the less time they have of going through the slot machines and table games.   

5. Avoid Loud Phone Conversations

People talking to someone on their phone while on the casino floor is widely frowned upon by patrons and casino managers. Patrons have a hard time controlling their volume since they are competing with the sounds of the casino floor, which is incredibly loud. Callers need to raise their voice to be heard by the person on the other line.

Loud conversations are a deterrent for casino operations since it ruins the psychological attraction of the sounds heard around the gambling floor. From the musical fanfare of a high payout win in a slot machine to the sound of a metal ball rolling around a roulette, each sound intends to make patrons want to play.

When a guest is talking about their Sunday dinner, their conversation breaks the casino's influence among other patrons. No one wants to hear about a person's rush appointment to the dentist or what they got for the in-law for their birthday when they are deciding to hit or stay on a 14 at a blackjack's table.

Reasons Why Do Casinos Block Cell Phones
Top 5 Reasons Why Do Casinos Block Mobile Phones

How Do Casinos Block Cell Phones

With several legitimate reasons why casinos do not want their patrons to use their cell phones while on the gambling floor, how do they block them? For many popular casinos, they let the walls of the building do the work for them. Thick walls around the gambling floor block phone reception, cutting off patrons' connection to the outside. Players need to step outside just to get a signal.

Security personnel and staff are another way for casinos to discourage the use of phones while on the gaming floor. Anyone caught talking to someone are promptly asked by security to take the call outside.

Having guards roaming the floor can discourage players to bring out their phones while on the gaming floor since no one wants the attention of any security personnel. Apart from security personnel, the sight of a sweeping CCTV camera and dealer's watchful eye can also prevent patrons from bringing out their phones.

Traditional casinos see phones as a risk to their security, an incredible nuisance to other patrons, and (most damaging of all) a way to hurt their bottom line.

On the other hand, new casinos are slowly embracing the use of smartphones within their premises by having their mobile apps. Casino apps gamify a patron's experience by having their bets, wins, and other activities tracked. Players can even earn rewards through the use of the app by completing specific tasks.

In the end, it pays when patrons follow casino rules regarding their policy on mobile phones to get the most out of their visit.

This article was published on January 31, 2021, and last updated on June 28, 2022.