For years I felt like waging Jihad against casinos because they are evil lying cheating scum. Now I'm more ambivalent.
Back in the Thorp days casinos were indeed run by (organized) criminals. They drugged Thorp's drink, brutalized counters, cheated players, stole money from stockholders, and (much) worse. Now they are corporate and I own stock. Even worse, my Jihad seems a miserable failure. I told people about the evils of negative EV, but the casinos are still filled. Forget about Spanish blackjack, there are still people playing Roulette and the Big 6 Wheel! Eventually it dawned on me they are not there to win, they are there for entertainment. Now, I might prefer they find healthier activities like exercise or art. But gambling is a cheap, nonpolluting activity like video games, reading science fiction, or trading Pokemon cards.
I read posts criticizing Olaf Vancura (or even Karel Janecek!) for casino affiliations. This is silly. Just because Olaf shared a blackjack system with you doesn't obligate him to forever refrain from casino employment! Similarly most of us respect Bill Zender and welcomed exchange of ideas regardless of his switch from regulator to manager to gambler. I think the crux is dishonesty and conflict of interest. It is dishonest of Michael Barnett to entrap counters to promote his game protection services. And it would be problematic to have Zender (the manager) on certain closed pages that discuss his game weaknesses. Self-deception and gambling addiction is an unfortunate side-effect of legal gambling. And the public is occasionally mislead about their prospects. This means we should work toward better disclosure, not disdain the entire gambling service industry.
O.K., so all casino employees are not scum. You might even date a dealer. So what's the problem? The problem is our Jihad has been too successful. The public has improved, and blackjack holds have consequently declined. Therefore the game conditions have deteriorated to compensate. Card counting is an easy and socially useless activity. You can't expect casinos to subsidize you forever. I see outcries against barrings. Fine, maybe the world should convert to Atlantic City conditions. The world could more productively employ the talents of a few surveillance people and card counters. The surveillance guys could get other comparable jobs. And most card counters don't make much money; they could find other profitable hobbies. The big losers would be the public who like unfettered handheld midshoe-entry games.
So puhleeze stop whining about barrings, especially small players. You only deserve your winnings if you have some rare ability. At one time counting was rare and rewarded. But there is a limit to casino charity. Now the winners must have the skill to evade detection or tolerate barrings.