Remaining anonymous in the casino is an important part of the job for many APs—namely, ones who would get thrown out or backed off if the casino knew their real name (myself included).
Sometimes, I still have to show ID to play, and this is because some crazy people apparently think I look like I could be under 21. It happens less and less, and eventually I’ll probably wish it would still happen and it won’t. Still, getting ID’d for age is often an issue for APs in their mid-30s or younger..
I know when I’m getting carded for age rather than some other nefarious reason because I’m asked either by a dealer as soon as I sit down or by a door person carding me and everyone else as they enter the casino. Occasionally, a cashier may ask for ID to confirm age as well, although that’s far less likely than the other two, and it’s is not always an innocuous age verification.
Sometimes, a casino may use your youthful appearance as a ploy to demand ID to either confirm you are who they think you are before taking action against you, or to find out who you are so they can add a name to the 86ing you’re about to receive. Knowing the difference between types of ID checks is important.
So how do you know the difference?
Generally, any ID for age is done by either a table games dealer or a security guard stationed at the entrance. However, if you’ve been playing for a while and a pit boss suddenly appears and asks you for your ID because you “look young,” this is likely an escalating heat situation.
Ditto if you’re approached just walking through the casino. Unless you look like a legitimate juvenile, this is almost always not good; you should generally leave without giving up ID in both of these situations.
Sometimes this may actually happen as a legitimate age verification, but that’s very unlikely and has never personally happened to me. I would err on the side of caution.
Speaking of which, “normal” age-related ID requests can be dangerous, too.
In some age verification situations, it’s possible for surveillance to look at your ID after they become suspicious of you just by running the tape back. Once they see your name and confirm it’s one they don’t like, you’re screwed.
This does happen, but it’s pretty rare. Sometimes leaving the same way you came in and telling the ID checker you “forgot something in your car and will be right back” is enough to thwart the cameras. If they do roll the tape back, they would likely only go back to your re-entry, which should hopefully have been ID-free, assuming the same person is working and remembers checking your ID the first time around. Sometimes, though, power-tripping security guards will ID you again anyway, so this doesn’t always work.
In cases where an ID check is likely, it may be helpful to know that a passport is somewhat harder to read than a driver license from the EITS (eye in the sky). I always bring a passport to places that ID at the door for this reason, and also because some places do not scan passports but do scan ID cards.
There are also a handful of casinos that automatically check your name and/or face versus a database of undesirables when they scan your ID at entry, or even sometimes at the players club. These are places you just can’t play in if you’re in the database they are checking and look young enough to get ID’d at the door.
I’ve been instantly 86’ed at these casinos, as have others I know. We simply can’t play them until we look older. If you’re in this situation and are thinking about showing a fake ID to get into places, DON’T. It’s too risky. The software casinos use at the door is great at picking off fakes.