By: Kim Brown
Date Published: January 05, 2022
Forbes predicted that casino industry revenue would surpass $44 billion in 2021! While we are shocked by that number, those that work in the industry probably aren’t phased by it. Casinos have always been at the forefront of security practices since they are responsible for protecting so much money and personal information. Venues use multiple tools and systems to provide honest customers with the best experience possible while ensuring cheaters and thieves don’t get away with a cent.
Exceptional security is the standard in casinos
Casinos don’t gamble with security. From traditional security guards to AI, casinos are always in search of the most effective security measures. Criminals continue to find new ways to try to infiltrate or steal from casinos. To stay one step ahead, management must be proactive and anticipate their next moves. A good security system isn’t good enough when you’re handling millions of dollars and thousands of financial IDs.
Security guards remain the first line of defense in any casino. People can’t do all of the things that tech and software can, but their presence reminds others that they are being carefully watched. Having security on the premises may be enough to discourage nervous thieves from moving ahead with their plans. While cameras are always watching, they remain in the same place. Guards on patrol move around; their routes are unpredictable. This makes it much harder for an unauthorized person to break into a room or area that the public is not allowed to enter.
Larger casinos generally have over 20 different dispatch codes that their security officers need to be aware of. They are also taught how to use complimentary tools needed to identify and resolve security threats.
Guards are trained to report any suspicious activity to management and work with their colleagues to stop a robbery if one did occur. Security guards can play a crucial role in stopping robberies provided they know how to respond.
When someone arrives at a casino, the security team likely has the capability to track all of their movements (except for bathroom visits) from the time they drive into the parking lot to the time they exit the venue. Larger casinos may have 2,000+ cameras connected to 50 monitors. However, only a few people are hired to watch live surveillance footage. While footage is available for review if something suspicious occurred, surveillance systems can’t physically prevent a crime from happening.
The casino industry has seen a huge shift from analog camera surveillance to IP-based surveillance, meaning the cameras no longer require a local recording device, only a local network, to do their job. Cameras can also work with analytics software, which makes video data more valuable. For example, heat mapping software could provide important insights into loitering statistics. Similarly, software that can count customers will help with dynamic security guard distribution.
Unlike some countries, casinos in the United States typically don’t ask patrons for ID unless they look underage. This makes it easier for repeat offenders to enter and exit venues without being flagged. Video that uses facial recognition can make a big difference when it comes to identifying advantage players or cheaters.
Facial recognition offers real-time data from live video feeds. Security can then take proactive measures to ensure the repeat offender doesn’t get into the building. Facial recognition technology can also be used to enhance the guest experience and help staff make customers feel special.
Hacking is not just problematic for online casinos. Brick and mortar buildings are susceptible to cyberattacks too. If a venue is vulnerable, a criminal could gain access to personal and financial data.
In May 2015, attackers were able to steal cardholder names, credit card numbers, and CVV codes belonging to customers from a well-known establishment. The same company suffered similar attacks only a year later due to malware being installed on POS systems.
Casinos must prioritize cyber security and perform regular audits to ensure data is safe and secure. Some casinos may opt to hire in-house analysts or cyber security directors to handle this element of their security systems.
Weapons are not permitted in casinos, but some patrons may still try to bring them in. In order to minimize threats without making customers wait in long lines, casinos are integrating touchless weapons detection systems into their security processes.
Evolv Technology, for example, has a system that combines powerful sensor technology with AI, security ecosystem integrations, and comprehensive venue analytics. Unlike traditional metal detectors, its technology can identify threats in real-time without requiring guests to stop, empty their pockets, or open up their bags. It can tell the difference between a cell phone and a weapon. This kind of technology keeps casinos safer without negatively impacting the guest experience.
NORA public records search
Casinos want to be very cautious with guests that have criminal records. NORA, Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness, is software that allows security to conduct background checks on people that look suspicious. NORA is frequently used to identify relationships between known cheaters and possible accomplices, but it can also be used to determine if a guest has a criminal record. NORA technology allows casinos to remove anyone that is known to have been convicted of robbery or theft by deception.
In the event of a robbery, casinos need a way to contact authorities without scaring off the culprit. Silent alarms allow venues to notify police and get assistance without alerting the thief.
Armored vehicles for transport
Criminals will always try to target the weakest link in the security system. Often, the vehicle that’s used to transport cash to and from the casino is one of the most vulnerable points. That being said, armored vehicles aren’t exactly easy to target. These vehicles are secure and guards are typically heavily armed.
Casino guard salary
Casino security guards are asked to perform in an intense environment. While casinos are places where people come to have fun, security guards must always be prepared if the fun suddenly stops and someone tries to commit a crime.
The average annual pay for a casino security guard in the United States is roughly $38,255 a year. That’s notably more than what an unarmed guard who patrols a condominium or mall would make. Annual salaries can be as high as $111,500 and as low as $18,000, but the majority of casino guards make between $23,000 and $36,500.
The average pay range does vary, which signifies that there are opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience. Guards who work in Sunnyvale, California; Santa Rosa, California; and Cambridge, Massachusetts, generally make more than guards who work in other cities.
Security managers earn an average of $80,400, but their roles are much different than those of guards.
Casinos are constantly developing new strategies to protect their venues and customers from criminals. Their security programs are so sophisticated that few people can successfully get away with pulling off an old-fashioned heist or cybercrime. Casino security is an excellent example of a comprehensive, integrated security system. Guards and technology work together to provide guests with a safe and enjoyable experience. Casinos are still improving their technology, making future robbery attempts even more difficult.