Suppose I win a $1,200+ jackpot. The casino is required to pay and I'm required to show valid ID. But surely I'm not obligated to allow them to scan my ID? Suppose they demand to scan my ID, make me do 10 push-ups, give them my Facebook password, and name my first-born child after them. What is my recourse? Basically, I find this to be violation of information privacy. They have no right to scan my ID and jeopardize my information. I want a ruling from Nevada Gaming Control and sanctions against any casino that withholds a jackpot.
Yes, casinos must ask for valid ID to hand-pay jackpots.
“That is an IRS requirement,” says the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s senior research analyst, Michael Lawton. “NRS 463.350 requires licensees not to allow anyone under 21 to gamble or loiter on the casino floor. But that would be our only requirement for ID.”
Blocks Controls New Gutenberg User Review Access If you hit a jackpot of $1,200 or more on a slot or video poker machine, the machine goes into what's called “IRS lockdown,” whereupon you're presented with paperwork to fill out in order to collect your jackpot. However, scanning IDs so that the casino can record your information is an often underhanded trick on the part of pit and cage personnel that's not part of any legal requirement.
One casino company that doesn’t scan IDs is Boyd Gaming. Says Boyd spokesman David Strow, “We are required to view and verify an ID when a player wins a taxable jackpot. In most cases, our employee will take the ID to a work station to fill out the required paperwork (which is reviewed and verified by a supervisor). However, we do not actually scan the player’s ID during this process. (Note that if a player refuses to provide an ID, we can’t release the jackpot. It will be held on deposit at the cage, but the player would need to provide ID to pick it up.)”
MGM Resorts spokeswoman Callie Driehorst adds, “At MGM Resorts properties, we do not need to scan the ID. In most cases, there is already a verified ID on file via the guest’s MLife account. If the guest requests that we not scan their ID, we can accommodate, but would still need to visually see the ID to confirm the guest’s identity.”
There are a lot of reasons that casinos might scan an ID. One of them is explained on the website of Veridocs, founded in 2005 to assist big business in interacting with patrons to address the directives of the USA Patriot Act, passed following 9/11. In October 2006, the Venetian was the first casino to install Veridocs and today it's used by many casinos in pits, card rooms, nightclubs, and hotel front desks, for security and surveillance, cage and credit applications, and compliance with ID-verification regulations.
"In the gaming industry," according to Veridocs, "any property can be exposed to a number of fraudulent activities such as under-aged gambling/drinking, fake credit cards/checks, and money laundering. Larger gaming operators with highly complex businesses involving restaurants, bars, nightclubs, retail stores, hotels, and theme-park operations are clearly exposed to more fraud as well as increased regulatory scrutiny. In response, most operators have established an internal fraud department with a variety of procedures in place that have helped mitigate risks and lower the overall financial impact of fraudulent activity. At Veridocs, we believe fraud mitigation starts with a robust ID validation and verification system."
Scanning IDs also often involves suspicions of card counting or advantage play. We've heard many many stories about casino personnel demanding to see ID -- and not just to pay out jackpots, but also for large cashouts at the cage. When an unsuspecting or novice player hands it over, the employee runs off to the printer or scanner and then it's too late to stop the ID from being scanned. The only safeguard against this is being forewarned, such as by this answer, and refusing to hand the ID to the employee. In most cases, they just have to see it to verify it and they don't need to take it anywhere. In the case of Boyd, you can accompany the employee to the work station without ever giving up your ID.
We don't know of any casino in Nevada that scans every ID. But most places do have a scanner as a sort of secondary checker, if the ID doesn't quite pass the eye test, or to check against the Black Book for banned people, or to check against internal databases of people they've trespassed, etc.