"A dealer can be a gamblers best friend or worst enemy, depending on the
cards. But at the Isle of Capri Casino, they’re also expected to be a
Jewel Cooper, a counselor with the Gambling
Treatment Program at Allen Hospital is teaching those dealers how to
spot problem gamblers, and direct them to the state’s helpline,
1-800-BETS-OFF. Cooper says, "A compulsive gambler does not stand out
like an alcoholic or a drunk person.”
In fact, the average
problem gambler in Iowa is typically a white male, between the ages of
30 and 59. He is often educated, married and has children. That’s why
dealers are learning to spot the subtle signs.
they’re looking for a customer who is at the same table or machine when
those employees return to work for their next shift. Also, someone who
has a flat look, doesn’t show emotion and doesn’t react to a big win.
Lastly, they’re looking for a customer who repeatedly visits the ATM
Any talented poker player will tell you that such a person is seen often at the table, and is often the one you want to play against. Sure they catch lucky cards sometimes, but more often than not, they play poor strength hands against you and lose their money.
There’s no success in poker without the ability to divorce yourself from the concept that you may be playing against a problem gambler. At some level it may bother you, but if you let it dominate your game, you’ll probably suck at poker. I’m guessing that bartenders have the same problem and choose not to serve specific patrons.