With the amount of money that casinos hold at any one time, it should come as no surprise that they have some of the strictest and most comprehensive security protocols. Considering that there is a lot of money at stake, casinos have invested millions of pounds to ensure that they are protected at all times. Here are five ways casinos use security to ensure that there is no cheating occurring and identify any potential crimes that might be happening.
It may be a bit ‘old school’, but security guards still remain a valuable part of casino security. Although they may not be high-tech compared to the other types of security technology that is being used in the casino, their presence often reminds guests and potential criminals that they’re being watched. Depending on the location and popularity of the casino, armed security guards might also be used which is even more of a deterrent.
However, security guards aren’t just “muscle men”. There are multiple dispatch codes which they need to be aware of to respond to a certain scenario, and must be competent in using sophisticated tools to solve threats.
CCTV - eye in the sky
As well as security guards, casinos have used video surveillance technology at their premises for a number of years. Used in almost every casino, the CCTV cameras are positioned to monitor seats, tables, hallways, restaurants and elevators. As you would expect, these cameras are used to ensure that there is no cheating, such as card counting, going on at the tables and also ensure that the guests are not in danger.
The surveillance department often works very closely with the physical security force to detect any misconduct in the casino and remove those who are continuing to break the rules.
An example of a CCTV camera used in casinos
Image Source: wikipedia.org
In the past, casino heists would involve brooks using brute force to steal as much money as possible. However, the availability of wireless networks since the turn of the millennium has meant that hackers have had a better track record. Hackers often use the wireless network to their advantage by accessing the cameras to see what cards other players have at the table. This information is then given to an accomplice that is playing.
To combat this cheating, almost every casino has adopted the 128-bit SSL encryption algorithm to stop this from happening. Although there is a chance that the most skilled hackers will still be able access the cameras, the connections are carefully monitored with any suspicious connections getting terminated immediately.
At a basic level, this type of encryption is also used on online casino sites to protect player data and all financial transactions. This means you are protected when playing card games from Betfair or mobile casino games. However, many large companies that deal with a large amount of confidential information and money over the internet tend to use the RSA algorithm. The algorithm is somewhat similar to SSL, but its asymmetrical use of prime numbers, and the infeasible amount of time it would take to decipher the original prime numbers means that it is one of the most secure encryption algorithms in the world.
When picturing a casino heist, you probably immediately think of someone breaking into the vault at a casino and stealing as much money as possible. However, the most common way criminals try and get money from a casino is by stealing the chips and cashing them in at the casino at a later date, or sell them on the streets.
In the past this might have seemed like a legitimate tactic, but the casinos have combated this by introducing RFID chips in the high denomination chips. This means that in order to exchange these chips for cash, they must be scanned first.
Originally this technology was used to catch any counterfeiters, but it has also been proven very useful in stopping robbers. For example, any chips which don’t have an RFID chip, or has had their RFID tracking turned off means that they’ll be effectively worthless.
Image Source: shutterstock.com
NORA Public Records Search
This is arguably the most unique type of technology being used in casinos at the moment. Casinos tend to be very cautious with guests that have some sort of criminal records, so they use NORA (Non-Obvious Relationship Analysis) Public Records Search which allows them to do background checks on anyone that looks suspicious.
Although it is primarily used to identify any relationships between cheaters and accomplices, it has also been used to determine if any of the guests has a criminal record. This system means that casinos are able to remove anyone that has been convicted of robbery or theft by deception, as well as anyone that is potentially colluding with them.
With casinos handling large amounts of money every day, strong security measures are a necessity, but also a challenge. However, these security measures and policies are carried out by the best in the business and are consistently changed in order to reduce any risk.