Sal Piacente: Casino Stories

Gaming expert Sal Piacente joins Tim to talk about casino cheaters, scammers, and how casinos watch for and catch them. But that’s just the beginning. Sal has some great stories about his career in gaming. He is a consultant and a trainer for casinos and regulators around the world on gaming security.


There’s a saying in some casinos. The eye in the sky don’t lie.

That’s a reference to the cameras placed throughout the casinos, and the people and systems behind those cameras to catch cheaters and scammers. But it’s much more than cameras. Casinos are some of the most sophisticated organizations that exist to monitor their facilities for anything that could go wrong.

And they need to be. With all of that money changing hands with the roll of the dice or the flip of a card, casinos are very attractive turf for some of the most sophisticated scam artists in the world.

When we talk about casinos, we’re talking about their big moneymaker games. Slot machines. Table games. Blackjack. Poker. Roulette.

Sal Piacente knows a thing or two about casinos.

He’s a native of Brooklyn, New York. He started his casino career as a blackjack dealer in Atlantic City after he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marines.

Sal worked his way up from dealer, to shift manager, to game protection specialist.  Today, he’s a consultant to casinos on security. And he trains casino staff and students at the University of Nevada on gaming management.

He knows every way cheaters try to cheat casinos. He’s seen it all. So, when we sat down, I had to ask him, “What casino game attracts the most cheaters?”


About this Episode’s Guest Sal Piacente

Sal PiacenteSal Piacente is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and the ultimate student of the game. Piacente’s interest in con games and scams began on the streets at a young age when his father taught him to protect himself from 3 Card Monte hustlers.

He started his casino career as a blackjack dealer in Atlantic City after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps. He then worked his way up from dealer to shift manager to game protection specialist, a position created for him by an international casino corporation.

Sal is also an instructor for the University of Nevada, Reno’s Gaming Management Certification Program.

He has parlayed his experience, skills, passion and knowledge of the various ways to cheat all casino games into a successful consulting business. Over the past 25 years, Sal has trained and/or consulted for dozens of casinos and regulatory bodies on four continents (and counting).