Casino Security Guards: A Behind the Scenes Look
With so many people and so much money trading hands regularly at any casino, the safety of the patrons and the cash that’s being exchanged lies in the hands of the casino security guards.
Thousands of guests and millions of dollars flow through an average casino daily, with each detail carefully scrutinised by casino security. Whether its direct interaction with casino patrons or via the eye-in-the-sky, casino security agents are trained to identify any suspicious activity and address it immediately.
There are several different echelons of security personnel, ranging from floor security to CCTV operators. Depending on their job title, the qualifications and training requirements for security guards will vary.
To qualify, potential candidates need to have a high school diploma, no criminal record, excellent communication skills and the ability to be eligible for a license. Besides the basic qualifications, security personnel often receive further training by casinos in intoxication management, first aid and CPR, restraint and handcuffing.
On top of these, surveillance officers need to have additional qualifications, including technical aspects of video monitoring. They also need to get a dealer qualification since they must know precisely how a dealer operates. A thorough understanding of games like roulette, craps, poker, and blackjack is required to spot unusual gambling patterns immediately.
Casino security comprises well-trained staff and state-of-the-art technology to protect thousands of guests and billions of dollars in assets. Massive crowds move through an average casino resort daily, so security personnel have to sort out through “crowd noise” and pinpoint any troublemakers.
When it comes to identifying cheaters, security guards need to differentiate between three different types of cheating: distraction, manipulation and stringing. Distraction involves more than one conman, with one party distracting the dealer and the security while the other goes for gold. Manipulation involves stacking the decks, false shuffling and marking the cards while stringing relates to a cheater who uses a coin attached to a fishing line to yoyo credits into a slot machine.
The guards are not necessarily focused only on cheaters. An imbibed player buzzing with the enjoyment of his winning streak might become unaware of his surroundings and end up being a soft target for thieves and pickpockets. It is the job of a security agent to thwart any such pilfering.
Security guards must also communicate speedily through all the channels, including pit bosses, dispatch, the parking lot, the cage, and the gambling tables. Alerting fellow staff members and responding to emergencies is necessary to ensure everyone is safe.
Crazy Moments at a Casino
Some casino occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, are generally hotbeds of disorder and chaos. During these times, security personnel often need to deal with domestic violence, drunk and disorderly people and solicitation.
One casino security guard recalled a horror tale of a biker convention that went horribly wrong. Some “marketing genius” thought it would be a great idea to invite various biker gangs to the casino to perform shows in the parking lot. What they didn’t expect was droves of aggressive men armed to the teeth, under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The entire security team spent most of the weekend trying to break up scuffles between rival biker gangs and keeping the damage to the property down to a bare minimum.
Casino guards are the eyes and ears of a casino, and their responsibilities are heavy. Patrons tend to cut loose in a casino in ways they wouldn’t normally do, as the free-flowing booze and cash lower human inhibitions.
Casino security guards have often seen drunken couples trying to have sex in the most unbelievable locations: the corridors, the elevators, or the parking lot. And they must remain sensitive and in control of every situation, no matter how embarrassing or ludicrous it may seem.
A Necessary Job
Being a security guard at a casino is not a glamorous job by any means. It’s a necessary job. And, as long as there are casinos and punters to fill them, there’ll be a need for casino security.