What is a 'Flea'?
In the world of gambling
and casinos, a flea is a word for a person who expects something for nothing. They are known for hanging around tables and machines without getting very involved and angling for free drinks. In particular, a flea is likely to expect to have a small bet comped when joining a game.They are often regarded as a subtype of the degenerate, who has become hooked on the thrill of gambling without any concern for their own well-being, often sinking all their resources into the casino
. They are therefore perpetually short of money, which explains their desire to snag anything free or cheap that comes their way. In short, this is not the type of player that you want to be.
Much like their real-world counterparts, fleas are always disliked in the casino. The name ‘flea’ comes from the parasitic nature of their behavior, as they expect to get freebies without offering very much in return, much as a flea sucks blood from a host without contributing to its well-being.The term is most used by casino staff in a very derogatory sense, as most fleas neglect to tip the relevant workers, making them highly unpopular. Fleas can also be referred to as ‘stiffs’ or ‘Toms’ (an acronym of Tight Old Man).A flea’s lack of moral compass can also extend to outright cheating
and fraud, as the name is also given to those who attempt to gamble with fake chips or otherwise scam the casino. This is the fastest way to become very familiar with casino security and end up on a blacklist or face criminal proceedings.A popular ploy among fleas is to pressure players into leaving a game just before a payout is due so that they can benefit from it instead, which explains another common name for this type of gambler: a bonus vulture.