Casinos form a very unique class of entertainment facility, and because of this, they tend to have a much wider set of security issues than many other venues. Gambling venues’ security concerns are also often unique to these environments, especially because they house substantial amounts of cash and a variety of opportunities through which criminals can achieve their plans.
Another major contributing factor to the potential dangers here is that gaming floors are often very crowded, which makes it hard for security professionals to keep track of suspicious individuals. Despite all of these challenges, however, the industry has developed specialized ways to reduce its crime rates wherever possible, keeping its players safe and its operators’ revenues intact. Here are some of the biggest hurdles that casinos and their security teams overcome on a daily basis.
Surveillance and Cameras
Surveillance is a huge part of keeping any casino safe, and security and surveillance operators are employed to protect visitors and assets alike. These professionals are tasked with patrolling sites, inspecting suspicious activities, enforcing rules and laws, handling emergency situations, and escorting players carrying large amounts of chips, among other responsibilities.
While security officers tend to the aforementioned tasks, surveillance officers work behind the scenes. They will monitor CCTV cameras, track suspicious activity (like cheating, stealing, attempted fraud or embezzlement), and alert on-site officials should anything be amiss. Surveillance officers are typically extensively trained to spot crime and cheating, monitor cameras and the likes, and also need special licenses in order to be able to operate.
Accident prevention is another essential part of casino security, albeit one that is not often considered by visitors, especially those who regularly play online pokies for real money instead. All security officers at gambling establishments need to be constantly aware of things or situations that could pose harm to individuals in the future, including everything from fire hazards to something as innocuous as a drink that has been spilled on the floor.
If an officer realizes that something could become a danger to players or patrons, he must fix the issue himself or report it to someone else who can, all while blocking off the area to prevent possible harm. At the same time, some supposed accidents are actually diversion attempts from criminals, so officers need to be able to spot the difference and act appropriately to ensure the safety of all involved.
Fire is a major risk in any casino setting, especially considering the masses of people that frequent gaming establishments on a daily basis. Noise levels in these areas are also very high, which may make it hard for patrons to hear a fire alarm that has been sounded.
Many players might also be completely immersed in their games and might not respond to an alarm immediately, so it is up to the venue’s security officers to ensure that everyone is evacuated timeously from the building should a fire occur. They also need to take cues from various alarm panels, smoke detectors, pull stations, firewalls and CCTV cameras on site!
Crime Watch and Combat
Possibly the biggest and most important task of any casino security team, however, is crime prevention. Casinos are understandably major crime magnets, considering the large amounts of money that flow through them every minute of the day.
Whether it’s employees, patrons or outsiders looking to take advantage, officials need to be on their toes constantly to prevent employee embezzlement, wallet and purse thefts, drug and alcohol abuse, switching, card counting, cheating, false shuffles and more. CCTV cameras are a gaming floor’s first line of defence against these practices, but patrolling officials will also always be on-site to catch any suspicious activities that surveillance professionals may have missed.