In 21 (2008), Cole Williams beats up counters in a basement and apparently has been doing that for years. How is it possible that he was never charged for assault?


2 Answers 2


How is it possible that he was never charged for assault?

Well first off, there's no indication that Cole Williams hasn't been charged with assault!

For all we know Cole could have been charged several times over the years. The way that Cole Williams is depicted throughout the film is that he's "old school" when it comes to casino security. On several accounts he voices his disdain for the new bio-metric security system --

COLE WILLIAMS: That's the signal. See? She gave him the signal. He comes to the table. I'm telling you, they're working together.


COLE WILLIAMS: Show me a computer that can do that.

-- and as the OP mentioned, he's shown beating up card counters to scare them away from the casino. Also, at the end of the film he takes all of Ben's money [as a retirement plan]. That being said, Cole Williams could very well have a criminal record.

However, if Cole Williams was never charged, the simplest and most obvious explanation is that nobody ever reported him. People get assaulted all the time and don't report it to police, especially if they're afraid that the person might retaliate.


He wasn't charged for assault, since the counter can't go to the police and accuse him as it would backfire.

The reason for this being that Cole Williams would tell the police he is a counter, which in Vegas, is a bigger crime than beating up someone. It's very common in Vegas for people to get drunk and beat up other people, it also never escalates to charging someone for assault.

  • 1
    Can you link to the relevant laws that say that counting cards is illegal (and a "bigger crime than beating up someone")? Jun 7, 2019 at 11:05
  • 3
    Counting cards most definitely isn't illegal. If someone tries using a device to assist in the process though, that is illegal. The characters shown in 21 weren't using a device, just teamwork.
    – Charles
    Jun 7, 2019 at 14:46

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