Regardless if you’re a gambler or not, you’ve probably seen many movies about gambling in your lifetime. And in case you think you didn’t, then just try and remember the Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 12. Both of these movies are famous for two things — they convinced people gambling is fun and that you could rob a casino successfully.
Contrary to popular belief, robbing a casino is as equally challenging as robbing a bank. Moreover, if you rob a popular, reputable casino, you might as well have succeeded in breaking into a government building. Why? Because these two share almost the same levels of security.
In brick-and-mortars, the first line of security is physical security. These people eye the sky at all times — they usually stand by the door and in the corners of the casino. But little do many players know that casino security is much more than just the surveillance team. Nearly everything that you can spot with a naked eye in the casino is secured. Not only that, but the things you’re not even aware of are also regularly checked and taken care of.
But what are these small yet crucial details that you’re not even aware of? What is it that the casinos pay attention to the most to ensure the safety of their guests, employees, and money? Well, for one, they keep an eye out for people that enter the casino. They try to look for any criminal history of the guests that enter the casino. Although, what matters the most is how they do it.
Casinos Then and Now
Back in the 90s, casinos had nothing but the basic form of protection — a bodyguard here and there and a couple of analog cameras. The problem was that most of these cameras were only focused on where the money and the chips were. And the ingenious con artists knew precisely how to work around this minor issue. The more casinos got robbed, the more their operators learned that they needed to step up their game. All of a sudden, bringing the latest security technology into their establishments became a top priority.
1. Educating the Employees
As I’ve already mentioned, physical security in a casino comes first. And the casinos make sure to highly educate and train these people so as to prepare them for any kind of disruption. Also, did you know that the land-based casinos have so much security that a guard can reach a robber within 120 seconds? This helps casinos in two ways — it’s enough time for the guards to disarm the robber, but not enough time for the robber to escape. So not only do casinos invest in their employees, but they also get architects to build their establishments carefully to help the security employees. Moreover, the casino will provide periodic physical security surveys that will take place regularly, just to ensure safety.
And if this is not sophisticated enough for you, with the rise of the IT industry, casinos made sure to take advantage of the technological innovations.
2. The NORA System
The Nora system is short for Non-Obvious Relationship Analysis. It is a program that SRD (Systems Research & Development) developed in order to help casinos fight criminals. This program assists casinos with figuring out whether there is a connection between a dealer and a criminal gambler. Believe it or not, there were plenty of cases where casino employees helped gamblers cheat the system. This resulted in casinos losing dozens of millions of dollars, and the NORA system was established to put an end to it. Additionally, there are casinos that fully trust their employees. But even if that’s the case, they can still use NORA to identify any potential criminals entering the establishment. This brings casino security to an entirely new level.
3. Facial Recognition Software
Many casinos use software that scans all the faces that enter the building immediately and then compares them to the mugshots online. This helps operators confirm if the guest is a con artist or an addicted gambler. Believe it or not, if casinos enable addicted gamblers to play, they risk breaking plenty of laws. It could even result in a casino being shut down. So for one reason or another, 90% of renowned casinos use some sort of facial recognition software.
4. Incorporating RFID Chips
Usually, when you think of people robbing a casino, you imagine burglars with masks, pointing a gun at the managers. But this is usually not the case — con artists are way smarter than that, hence why they call it art. Often, they steal a lot of chips that they take home with them. After a couple of days, the con artist will return and try to cash in these chips at a casino. Additionally, they sell them on the streets as well, but this brings down their value quite a lot.
The casinos, naturally, realized that they needed to put in some effort to end this practice. And that’s when they invented the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips. This means that every chip has a small device inside them that communicates through a radio frequency. These devices are passive, which means they don’t have a battery. They actually communicate only once the chip goes through a scanner. So when a crook brings the chip to a casino in order to cash it in, the casino will scan it and determine if the person stole it or not. It’s something similar to how cashiers scan the barcode on your groceries. This is only one step further in improving the overall casino security.
5. Carefully Guarding the Money
In the UK, all casinos need to have enough money in reserves to match all the chips in the building. This is something that the law requires from them. As of lately, a lot of other countries have been deciding to incorporate this system as well. This regulation exists in case someone robs the casino — the reserves will ensure that all the gamblers receive their winnings anyway. And if you combine this with armored vehicles that transport money, you will realize that casinos play seriously. Plus, the drivers also have permission to carry guns, so any robbers will think twice before engaging.
It Looks Like You’re Safe
Based on all this, it appears that most casinos don’t take your security for granted. Moreover, all the con-artists know the safety measures of casinos, which significantly discourages them. So have no concerns — the safety teams are on your side. So try to enjoy as you gamble, and best of luck!