Things that casinos don't want the public to know
i'm wondering what the getting-backed-off process consists of
Simple: a Shiftmanager tells you in your face: "you can't play here any more."
and if i'm required to show ID before cashing in my chips (after i get backed-off).
No, unless the casino is required to fill out a CTR on your behalf. CTR is required when you're redeeming at least $10,000.01 in chips.
do casinos rough you up?
No, not in my case. However, there was a case in which a casino "thought" a card counter was cheating, and ordered 2 casino guards to beat him up badly.
what do the city police think of counters?
I don't know what LVPD cops think of me as a card counter, but I know what the cops think of casinos (the paymasters). One thing for sure, casinos pay for cops' salaries indirectly, not the card counters.
will they be sympathetic to you and be on your side, or do they side with the casinos?
It's most likely cops'll do what casinos ask them to do if casinos press charges against card counters, i.e., trespassing.
It's like asking: "will a dog bite the hand that feeds it?" Of course not. By the way, I know at least one casino which actually feeds LVPD cops literally. A day before a shiftmanager told me not to play in his house anyway, I was comped to a gourmet dinner. While I was dinning, a group of LVPD cops with a sergeant walked in and were seated across the room from me. From the conversaton I had with my waiter, I was told that the cops were fed by the casino freely and regularly. Armed with that knowledge, I gave no lips to the shiftmanager when he told me not to play there a day after.
have counters ever sued casinos for discrimination?
I don't think so. Although it's illegal to discriminate based on race, religion, sex, etc..., it's legal to discriminate (pick and choose) your customers based on profitableness. Casinos don't like to serve card counters because they are not profitable to casinos. Likewise, some restaurants refuse to serve their customers who use American Express Credit Cards. It's not profitable to deal with American Express, i.e., 5% discounts charged against the merchants, where as 2% discounts by Visa/MC, a savings of 3% by virtual of discriminating against the Am Exp users. I don't see the Am-Exp users suing restaurants, do you?
are chips, technically speaking, the property of the casino?
Chips are casinos' until you buy them with your cold cash, then it's yours.
can you leave the casino premises with chips?
Sure! Casinos love you for that if you drop them a bag of cash and walk out with their plastics. It's like an interest-free loan.
(is it hard to counterfeit chips? i always wondered if people counterfeit chips...can't be harder than counterfeiting money, i suppose).
Yes and no. It all depends on how "cheaps" are those chips. There was a victimized casino which got some "cheap" blackchips, and it learned the hard way. Its "cheap" blackchips can be counterfeited by turning its $1 chip into its $100 chip with a copy-cut&paste trick.
When the casino discovered the trick, it pulled out all its blackchips out of circulation. It's a kind of comical to see thatthe highrollers bet a stack of greens "skyhigh" without the blackchips for several weeks.
I'm sure some more backoff/86ed' guys will answer your post with more interesting stories, how about it guys?