THE MAGAZINE

Casinos Strengthen Their Security Hand

By Derk Boss, CPP, and Ann Longmore-Etheridge

Of the 25 largest hotels in the United States, 15 are part of gaming establishments located on the Las Vegas Strip. Hundreds of thousands of guests and employees are congregated in this concentrated area on any given day or night. Owners and managers of these properties recognize that in a post-9-11 world, their facilities provide terrorists with an enticing target that could result in mass casualties.

With this understanding, casinos in Las Vegas and all around the United States enacted new security and surveillance practices in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. Some were reactive and ultimately unsustainable. However, others proved beneficial and have been retained or refined to improve effectiveness or reduce costs.

To get a better idea of these trends, the ASIS International Council on Gaming and Wagering Protection recently surveyed 25 casino security professionals around the United States. The council found that physical security and surveillance were more prevalent than in the past. Among the measures they found were live monitoring of property areas never focused on before, the use of proprietary explosives-detection dogs, and the inauguration or enhancement of employee awareness training programs. In addition, security personnel at these facilities were seeking ways to ensure more reliable and effective communications.

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