Magicians are truly amazing entertainers, providing people with card tricks, illusions, disappearing acts, and so much more. Magic extends across to a plethora of features. Of course, magicians have to have a certain level of talent to be able to successfully pull off a magic trick and entertain a crowd of people. Sleight of hand is a necessity in almost all cases of magic.

Now, if you’ve ever been to a casino, you’ll know that card games are particularly popular at such. And magicians do love their cards, right? So, it shouldn’t be too difficult to understand why a magician would be banned from casino floors.

Of course, not all magicians walk into a casino and announce themselves as such. So, what are the things to look out for? How can you avoid being mistaken for a magician if you find yourself on a winning streak of any sort? Why exactly are magicians banned from participating in casino games at land-based establishments?

We’re going to be looking at and answering all of these questions right here, so you’ll know exactly about the ban that affects such people.

Why Would a Casino Ban a Magician?

So, what exactly would drive a casino to ban magicians from participating in games at their establishments?

Well, the answer is obvious, really. Many magicians have already been banned from such, although these are mainly high-profile magicians. Because these people utilize sleight of hand in their acts – many of which contain card tricks that require such precision that they can’t be spotted by the naked eye – it’s tantamount to cheating. The hand is quicker than the eye in this case, and if a magician is busy exchanging cards and switching them around and introducing new ones into his hand, who is really going to be able to tell the difference?

To the average player, a magician competing in card games is basically going to go on a winning streak without most people realizing his sleight of hand tactics have been in play. Of course, should a magician reveal himself to be such, then it’s more than likely that he’ll be asked to leave and banned from ever returning to a casino.

Magicians are basically at the forefront of taking away any kind of house edge, or at the very least, minimizing it significantly.

Because of their skills in card play and tricks, cheating would be very much possible for them, and it’s quite difficult to notice for the average, everyday player. That being said, most casino gameplay is very hands-off these days. Generally speaking, players have cards dealt out to them by a dealer, and frequently in these games, like in blackjack, the dealer will turn the players’ cards over for them, too.

So, how is it possible for a magician to incorporate his art into such gameplay? Well, in actuality, it’s more about the perception of there being a risk. After all, should you be playing a table game alongside a magician when he takes two or three wins, it wouldn’t necessarily lead to you saying that he’s quite lucky. Instead, you’d no doubt wonder if there wasn’t something else in play that the magician is very easily able to hide from your eyes.

Generally speaking, where things would become a major problem is if you chose to enter a card game with high stakes. In such, cards are handled and shuffled, and nobody would knowingly enter into a game facing such an expert with sleight of hand on his side. Poker games are not only about the deal of the cards but being able to deceive your opponents well enough.

Magic is all about deception, so the two of them are very nicely linked hand-in-hand.

Have Any Magicians Already Been Banned?

So, has anyone ever been banned from a casino as a magician? The short answer to this question is yes. Of course, it’s mainly been those magicians with high profiles in the world, so take a look at people such as David Blaine or Derren Brown, for example.

Again, this is not due to the fact that they specifically are magicians, but due to the perception that because they are, something particularly deceptive could go down. Other magicians who would no doubt be banned from participating in games at casinos include well-known people like Dynamo and Criss Angel.

Things weren’t particularly helped in this area by the aforementioned Derren Brown, who went on record as saying that a big portion of magicians are actually kleptomaniacs.

Brown is actually one of the magicians who is known to be banned from every casino within the United Kingdom because they’re worried he’ll be able to read the cards before they’re even dealt. After all, he did correctly predict the National Lottery numbers, and he managed to persuade a group of strangers to rob a security van.

Of course, if you were sitting at a table in a casino playing poker and Derren Brown or David Blaine sat down at one of the empty seats, it’s almost a certainty that you wouldn’t specifically want to play such a game against one of these – especially if it’s a high-stakes option. That’s not to say that a magician would definitely cheat or use anything other than basic poker gaming skills. However, the perception that they would is certainly there.

Casino Security and Why Magicians Are Still Affected

Why are these magicians and more actually banned from participating in games on casino floors? After all, as stated, it can’t be proved that they specifically will cheat to win. That being said, it can’t be proved that they won’t, either. Of course, casinos are decked out with multiple security features today, from cameras pointing directly at the table through to the lack of handling cards. So, with all this security in place, why would it even matter if a magician was playing and potentially cheating? Wouldn’t they be caught out by such security measures anyway?

Again, it all comes back to the perception of a magician playing such card games and how deceptive such a person could be. Naturally, if a magician isn’t performing an act at a casino and is there simply for his own entertainment, he’s not likely to announce himself as a magician, right?

Of course, a backlash could occur if a known magician chose to participate in roulette or blackjack, for example, against people who don’t possess such skills.

Take this into consideration – if a high-profile, known magician was to play a game of blackjack or poker at a casino and began a sort of winning streak, how would that affect the reputation of the casino? It’s fairly possible that it would bring a negative reaction to it, right? After all, if magicians can deceive other players during casino gameplay, then that doesn’t make it such a favorable place for people to want to go.

If a casino was to allow this, then basically they could be cutting themselves off at the knees. Therefore, these reasons are why magicians, such as the ones mentioned earlier, are frequently banned from casino floors.

Magic Acts Within Casinos

It’s not necessarily that a magician will be banned from a casino entirely. It’s more so that they’re banned from participating in casino gameplay. It’s not uncommon to find casinos with more features than just games. Often times, there are restaurants, bars, and places for music and more.

In this instance, magicians can sometimes be found performing their acts within casinos in order to entertain crowds who are either taking a break from gaming or who attend such for their “nightlife” status.

Therefore, a magician will be banned from being able to step foot on the casino floor, rather than being prevented from entering the actual casino. This is somewhat of a technicality, but it ensures that players aren’t scared off by the presence of a magician being nearby, whilst still allowing the magician to perform his own act in a separate location of the casino.

This idea doesn’t come solely from perception, either, because there have been instances where people who have honed their sleight of hand skill to perfection have managed to cheat, despite the fact that strong security measures are in place. Therefore, if a ban keeps known magicians away from the casino floor but allows them to perform their act within the establishment, this works in everybody’s favor.

History of Magicians in Casinos and Noted Bans

There is little information relating to specifically when magicians began being banned from casinos. However, it probably started several years ago due to the fact that many magicians start out in such venues.

While trying to make a name for themselves, it’s not possible for a magician to begin performing in vast arenas or halls, which is why casinos frequently provide a great location for them. Generally speaking, casinos are always bustling with people at some time or another, and with the range of entertainment that they often provide, magic acts are able to begin creating a name for themselves within such establishments.

That being said, as the profile of magicians started to rise and more were featured on television – thereby further enhancing their own name and career in the process – more and more casinos were able to see just how skillful certain magicians were.

This is what led to many land-based casinos thinking over exactly how much movement a magician was entitled to within their establishments. Keeping that in mind led to the banning of various high-profile names, such as those mentioned previously, like Derren Brown or David Copperfield, because the perception of both operators and players alike is that deception by these people is a lot easier.

It’s plain to say that some of the more noteworthy bans on magicians setting foot on casino floors came from big-name establishments, too.

The aforementioned Derren Brown was once playing at the Broadway Plaza in Birmingham, and within minutes of taking a seat, security informed him that he was only able to watch as his friends played, not actually participate in games himself.

However, it didn’t take long for casino managers to become uneasy with his presence there, and he was soon escorted from the building.

Brown went on to comment that over the years, he has been banned from most of the UK’s casinos, so this move wasn’t particularly much of a surprise for him. This particular ban took place back in 2013 after he attempted to play blackjack.

David Blaine has also claimed to be banned from gambling worldwide. However, as seen in at least two of his shows, he is still able to set foot inside them and walk onto the casino floor. He just supposedly cannot actually place any bets himself.


To put it bluntly, while there have been various reports of magicians being banned from casinos, a large portion of these can be accredited as rumor.

Yes, it’s clear to see why a magician would be banned from participating in such, although the general idea is that a magician can still perform his own act in a casino without actually placing any bets on the floor.

As a bettor, you’ll obviously need to keep certain things in mind when it comes to this. After all, should it come to you starting out on a winning streak, you don’t want to appear to casino staff as a magician, right? Just keep in mind that casinos shouldn’t have any reason to refuse you service, so when playing, ensure that you don’t appear to be counting cards, tampering with dealt or pre-dealt cards, or anything along those lines.

On the whole, a casino experience should be one of fun and fair play.

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