Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 20, 1972 · Page 4
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 4

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 20, 1972
Page 4
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-Auym 20, 1972 'Sunday CmettoMdl Cturlnhn, W«t VlnlnU od». Although they have never who is to «ay there aren't 100 scampering oo hand* *nd knew Putting 'Touch 9 on Vegas No Longer an Easy Venture^ Cheating at Nevada's gaming tables is on the wane. A surge of morality? Not really, say the experts. The credit goes to the "Catwalk," the "Lookout," or "Eye in the Sky," names for a network of crawlspaces and two-way mirrors by which, trained observers spot those who would tip the balance of chance in their -favor. By BUI Martin RENO, Nev. tfl -- Like nearly everything else in the billion- dollar world of Nevada gambling, catching the quick-fingered professional cheater is often a matter of luck. And although they don't win every time, for 25 years casinos have used the well-known but little-publicized "Eye in the Sky" to keep the odds in their favor. Peering constantly over the would-be cheater's shoulder, the eye is the casino's relatively unsophisticated version of the all-seeing Big Brother. It is house security's best friend'. Usually armed only with the naked eye, the man in the the "eye'' hidden behind two-way mirrors keeps a constant watch for the "crossroadcr" --the professional cheater who bilks table games and slot machines of untold millions annually. Stroll into a plush Neva gambling palace and one of the first things you'll notice are the mirrors--stuck in corners, hanging on walls, lining the ceilings. They're everywhere, A newcomer might think-it's only more gaudy decoration. But to those wit even a minimal knowledge of gaming, the mirrors hide the key to casino security, The eye in the sky--also dubbed "the catwalk" or "the lookout"--usually consists of a network of crawspaces and two-way mirrors where trained observers can watch for cheaters. In the highly security conscious world of casino gambling, the two-way mirror has become the most effective deterrent to the professional thief. NEVADA CASINOS win nearly $650 million each year, only a percentage of the total that is bet. It has been estimated that the professional cheater may steal up to $25 million. Exact figures, of course, are impossible to determine. But casino officials say confidently that cheating is on the decrease, and they give much of the credit to the omnipresent eye in the sky. denied the existence of the eye people peeping, in the sky, they are reluctant to discuss specifics. Almost never is an outsider ** "^ allowed onto the catwalk. Even after THE catwalks are invariably ex-deal- m ' "Ithotlgh 0 occasion one- newsmen recently, some uestions didn't won't say, get for answers, instance, many people are on duty behind the mirrors. the mirrors work. Even if there WHO prowl the iably ex- cheaters have been used. Harrah's Bob Contois says they should have at least 10 years' experience. They are experts on all the major games-- twenty- one, craps, roulette-- and they over, under and around the many built-in obstacles on the catwalk. At hand are cameras and videotape units. Candid snapshots of suspected cheaters decorate eye might include someone took- the walls inside the catwalk office. It's part of the psychological know the ways of the slot ma- game the casinos believe make chine. One veteran lookout has been is only one man on duty, the crawling the catwalks for five cheater can't know where he is or what he is watching. And years. A compact 5 feet 6, 130 pounds, he's ideally suited for the hundreds of mirrored -windows above the crowded casino floor--packed with 73 twenty- one tables, six crap tables and nearly 800 slot machines--the lookout is hunting for what he calls "the unnatural." "I'm looking for anything he says* "Aiyiw willing to cheat, whether it's a customer or an employe, has to do tomethiig out of the ordinary." Things that would catch his ing around to see where the floor man is, a customer placing Catmo ·Meat.**atjret tort cheating seems to be on the decrease. . "Because of the type* of surveillance and the fact it is getting better," a Harlods dob official said, "cheaters are finding it harder and harder to play." As he peers through one of unusually large bets, or a dealer not using normal dealing procedures. Even a man kissing his wife too enthusiastically might be cause for alarm. He might be loading up his fingers with her make-up so be can "paint" the cards at the blackjack table. Heartburn? ADV. Although formats for the catwalk vary from casino to casino, the purpose of each is to provide the lookout with an unobstructed view of every square foot of the casino and each person who pumps a nickle into a slot machine or rattles the dice. Arab Group Endorses McGovern "EYE IN THE SKY" IS DETERRENT TO CHEATERS Players in Las Vegas Casino Are Reflected in Mirror NEW YORK-w-The 40,000- member Active Committee on American-Arab Relations Saturday endorsed the Democratic presidential ticket of Sen. George McGovern and Sargent Shriver. M. T. Mehdi, the committee's secretary general, denounced the Republican party's Middle East plank as being "more pro- Israel than the plank of the Democratic party." "I have confidence in the essential integrity of Sen. McGovern, who, as president, will reduce American military aid to Israel," Mehdi declared. Mehdi, who said he testified at the Republican Platform Committee in Miami Beach on Aug. 16th, called t h e party's Middle-East plank "a big farce" that rubber-stamps the White House position. Mehdi said he also testified at the Democratic party's platform hearings, and the platform hearings of the American party. Juveniles Held In Connection With Burglary State police at Chelyan arrested two juveniles Saturday in connection with a burglary Tuesday on Campbells Creek Drive. Trooper D. M. CaWwell, investigating officer, said about $500 in jewelry, a shotgun, a| check and a small amount of! money was taken from the resi-| dence' of Mr. and Mrs. Jessie | Jones of 759 Bays Dr. Caldwell! said all the property had been recovered. The juveniles were arrested on warrants obtained from Justice of the Peace Millard Stone. The boys are being held in the Kanawha County Youth Center. In one casino in Reno, the catwalk is a humid labyrinth of carpeted, padded crawlways tucked between casino floors. One hands and knees or sprawled on his stomach, the man in the eye can peep through mirrors located over casions' bars, change booths, money counting rooms and even the stage in the show lounge. Inside the eye, working conditions are cramped and it is frequently stuffy, hot and dusky. Although many casinos designed crawspaces into the building during construction, they are usually obstructed by electrical equipment, ventilation ducts and low-handing beams. N e v a d a casino executives have long been extremely secretive about their security meth- Sunday Gazette-Mail Entered as second class matter at the Post Office at Charleston, W.V»., under the act of March 3, 1897. Independent newspaper published each Sunday morning by the Daily Gazette Company and Clay Communications, Inc., formerly the Charleston Mail Assad* lion in Charleston, W. Va. 25330. Sunday Gazette-Mail is a member of The Associated Press. The Associated Press Is entitled to the use of all local news for reproduction. Telephones: Classified Advertising 341-4141 Circulation Department 34S-SIS1 All Other Departments 341-5140 AN ADDITION TO PROJECT '72 The naturals of the earth are shown in this lovely handbag, shoulder strap style in crochet end suede, complement your wardrobe in Bro«r, Beige, Grey, Navy, Black or Burgundy. 10.00 HANDBAGS--Street Floor russ OF 100% ORLON® ACRYLIC The fall look of 1972 for the campus bound female, or the career gal. It's the coordinated wardrobe to build from because it's Orion® Acrylic from DuPont. Styled for today's looks and the easy careability of Orion® Acrylic, left. . . Jacquard weave layered look tunic . . . 20.00 and Jacquard weave.flare-leg slacks . . . 13.00 right . . . Solid color Bur- gundy skirt with Jacquard weave vest . . . 15.00 cream color Blouse ... 12.00 skirt.. .14.00 SPORTSWEAR--Street Floor · DuPont REGISTERED TRADEMARK *«· ytw Diamond charge card... it's better than momy!

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