Is this Milwaukee casino the most dangerous place to win?

Imagine hearing that a man, possibly your neighbor, was robbed at gunpoint after giving another player a ride home from a local casino. Now imagine hearing that someone was held up at gunpoint after picking up two women at a local casino.

innerlois30102015Sounds scary? We’re not done. Now imagine learning that someone was mugged after taking the bus home from a casino. You might assume that buses aren’t safe so it’s your best bet to take a car, right? Not necessarily. It turns out people are also being followed home after winning big at a casino.

With so many robberies, you might think we’re talking about a big gambling hub like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or Macau. Except we’re not. We’re talking about Wisconsin. And we’re talking about one single casino called Potawatomi.

A recent news investigation has revealed that Potawatomi Casino has been the scene of and endless wave of crimes. OK, maybe not endless. But the property has definitely become a target for casino crime, so much so that some patrons are concerned about playing there.

The casino has taken notice. In a statement, the casino noted, “Incidents of criminal activity do occur on rare occasions…The property has implemented many measure to assure our guests are safe…For those who fall victim, our thoughts go out to them.”

innerpotowatomi30102015But even if “rare” is the case, robberies are becoming all-too familiar for casino patrons. Many casino players are asking what makes this specific property such a target, and the answer might be in the way the casino hands out cash.

While other Wisconsin casinos issue checks for jackpots above $1,200, Potawatomi’s policy is to cut checks for jackpots above $5,000. That means if you win $4,999, you’re walking away with cash. And you’re now suddenly a target for would-be thieves.

Still, this begs an even bigger question. How are thieves discovering the big winners? Sure, when someone wins big, jackpot bells go off, lights flash uncontrollably, and a mob of excited passerby stop in their tracks to watch. But this scene plays itself out at every other casino on earth and the competition doesn’t seem to have the same crime problem.

We suspect it might have something to do with the casino layout that’s conducive to criminals not being noticed in surveillance video until it’s too late. The casino security team might want to talk with other casinos, including big properties in Vegas, to ensure that their security surveillance system works the way it should.

We should note that casino crime is not limited to this specific Wisconsin casino. You could be a target anywhere, so always practice safe playing policies. That means asking for a cashier’s check instead of cash, even if you don’t mean the minimum requirements. That means getting escorted to your car by a security guard after a big win. That means keeping your doors locked as soon as you set foot inside your vehicle. That means making a detour to the police station if you think you’re being followed home.

Of course, if you’re too scared to play live, there’s always online. Palace of Chance has a great selection of true-to-life casino games, including a huge selection of live dealer games where you can play against a real dealer. Check them out.

Tonya Hollows

A wannabe professional poker and blackjack player. Incredibly positive and an overall rock n' roll kind of girl. She moved from Canada a few years ago to find new horizons, more related to her gambling skills. Ended up working as a casino hostess in Vegas and then became a full time writer for Palace of Chance.

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