Casinos are in the market of making people’s dreams come true and, to do this, they have a lot of money on hand so that when people win big, they can immediately cash in their winnings. Unfortunately, this makes casinos a target for would-be thieves as well as less-than-scrupulous players who want to cheat the house and take home more than they actually win.
The Ins And Outs Of Casino Security
There are two aspects to casino security:
- Physical surveillance, as well as
- A highly sophisticated network of surveillance equipment.
In terms of physical surveillance, there are security guards who keep a close eye on what’s going on so that if the need arises, they can respond immediately. They are not in uniform and wear ‘normal’ clothes – in other words, what a casino-goer would wear – so that they blend in. This makes it easier for them to spot any suspicious activity as the criminals will not be on their best behaviour.
While the security force is keeping a watchful eye on what’s going on at the tables and slots, others will be keeping a close eye on the comings and goings from a control room. Think about the series Las Vegas where Danny McCoy (played by Josh Duhamel) would stare intently at the brightly lit screens in the control room, which showed many angles of the casino, trying to find the person he was trying to catch. This is exactly what happens in a real-life casino.
Casino Security Is Not Just About Surveillance
Although a large part of casino security is about surveillance, they don’t ‘just watch’ computer screen. The job of the casino surveillance personnel encompasses everything from catching cheaters to writing reports about significant incidents.
For example, a common method that cheaters try and use to up their winnings is card counting. If some ‘counts cards’, what they’re doing is trying to determine if the next hand will be profitable for them. This type of behaviour usually happens at the blackjack table. Here’s how people count cards:
- Assign a value to each card
- Keep a ‘running count’ based off of the values of the card dealt
- Use this information to calculate the count per deck or the ‘true count.’
- Change your bets as the true count rises
The casino surveillance staff members – or at least one or two – needs to be on top of how cheaters could cards so that they are able to pick up when they are trying to do this, just like every time you play online. Card counters are also called advantage players as they hold an advantage over the house. The casino is within their rights not to serve them.
Casino security is there not to detract from your experience. It is there to keep you safe and allow you to really have a good time. Gambling should be looked at always as a way to have fun and by keeping the environment safe, security makes this even easier.