A Clear View of Liability

By D. Anthony Nichter, CPP

Inadequate staffing. The next fault in order of increased liability is that the company has too few operators given the size of the property.

At a gaming resort that marketed itself as a family destination, for example, there was a large arcade that catered specifically to children and teenagers. A man entered the arcade and lured a young girl away from family members. He took the girl out a side exit and tried to get a taxi in front of the casino. Surveillance staff did not notice what had happened. Fortunately, another guest reported this to security, and officers immediately responded. The man was arrested, and the child was returned to her family.

It was discovered during the ensuing lawsuit that the surveillance department was responsible for monitoring the arcade as well as the casino, the large hotel, the back of the house, the parking lots and garages, and all outside areas. It also acted as the dispatcher for all incoming calls from security guards, department heads, and guests. The surveillance department had an average of two to three operators per shift to perform all of these tasks. A review of the camera footage clearly showed the man making deliberate maneuvers to avoid security and other arcade employees as well as engaging several children in conversation and horseplay. A well-trained surveillance observer would have noticed these behaviors, which are indicative of predatory pedophiles, but there was no one who had time to spot these red flags because of the drastic understaffing.


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