Things You Should Know About Casino Surveillance
One of the most enigmatic teams within the gambling industry must be casino surveillance. While we all know that cameras are always somewhere above us, clandestinely monitoring our every move. However, few of us are aware of how these operate.
If you are a fan of casino-themed movies, you must have noticed the overarching presence of the “eye in the sky”, which hawkishly follows the protagonist’s every move. And it’s not difficult spotting all the security cameras peppered around key vantage points of a casino floor each time you find yourself there.
Usually, the first thing that springs to mind is a group of covert casino security agents huddled together in front of their screens inside a surveillance room, observing every move we make. However, the truth is somewhat different.
To reveal how casino surveillance operates, we suggest that you read further.
Duties of a Casino Surveillance Officer
Being a member of the casino surveillance team means you need to possess an array of skills, from spotting cheaters on the casino floor to compiling comprehensive reports about any suspicious activity.
The duties of casino surveillance agents include the following:
- Survey the casino floor – with the help of cameras and audio equipment, the officers continually scan the casino floor to pinpoint any underhanded activities conducted by the gamblers or the employees.
- Identify advantage players – Advantage players are those players who use non-criminal methods to maintain an edge over the house (e.g., counting cards while playing table games). While the actions of these players are not illegal per se, they can be banned from a casino based on the frequency of their offences.
- Spot players that cheat – There’s no grey area when it comes to cheating, and cheaters will face the full might of the law if caught. If spotted, casino surveillance has the right to detain those players before handing them over to the police. Should law enforcement ask for evidence of the incident, the surveillance officers must provide the corresponding footage.
- Monitor the cage – the “cage” is where the client-facing cash is kept, and the cashiers interact with gamblers. Keeping an eye on this area allows casino surveillance employees to identify any sly cashiers or players who are in cahoots with them.
- Remove unruly gamblers off the floor – With alcohol flowing freely and fuses short, some players can occasionally go a bit bonkers. Casino surveillance might be called up when this happens to identify and get these players safely off the floor.
- Generate incident reports – whether an incident is caused by an advantage gambler, a crooked employee, a cheater, or any other reason, a report needs to be submitted to the management. This is usually the responsibility of a surveillance officer.
What Does One Need to Qualify as a Casino Surveillance Officer?
It might appear that a wannabe surveillance officer might first need to have a solid tech and IT background to qualify for the job. The reality is that this is not the case, and usually, a basic high school diploma would suffice.
If successful, the candidate must obtain a surveillance officer’s license covering their law enforcement and casino surveillance competencies. Also, once hired, the incumbent can undertake additional classes and programmes through the casino or an external educator to further hone their skills.
And it can be a lucrative career path. Well-performing officers can earn over C$60,000 per annum, which is not too shabby.
Casino Surveillance Technology and Equipment
The gambling industry has always been at the forefront of technology adoption, and casino surveillance technology is no exception. The latest surveillance tech combines advanced hardware and software to provide the most comprehensive security and surveillance measures.
Two of the most significant floor monitoring software developments are artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. An AI-powered surveillance system can monitor every aspect of a casino, including the gaming floor, cashier cages, and even back-of-house areas. These security systems can identify behavioural patterns and alert security personnel to potential threats or suspicious activities in real time.
In addition to AI, casinos use facial recognition technology to identify and track players and employees. Facial recognition technology can be used to detect banned individuals and potential cheats, as well as identify VIP players for targeted marketing promotions.
Another area where technology is being utilised is RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. RFID chips embedded in casino chips and cards enable casino surveillance to track player behaviour, such as which games are being played, how much money is being wagered, and how long players are at the tables.
Finally, casinos use high-resolution cameras to capture every angle of the gaming floor, including the card tables and slot machines. These security cameras have advanced zoom and pan capabilities, enabling security personnel to focus on specific areas and events.
Overall, the latest casino surveillance know-how provides the highest security and protection for players, employees, and the casino itself. As technology evolves, we can expect more advanced and sophisticated surveillance measures to be implemented.
Challenges Encountered by Casino Surveillance
The main concern facing most casinos is the admissibility of video and audio footage as prime evidence in a criminal case. Although it is often seen as a welcome boost for prosecutors, video surveillance footage is generally deemed inadmissible in legal proceedings.
Although stereotypes surround the casino surveillance team, including that they spend the entire day staring at a computer screen, their job activities go beyond simply manning the cameras. In fact, they are a crucial lever within the casino security system. Through their actions, the surveillance team makes the casino environment safe and fair for honest players.
Frequently Asked Questions
The surveillance team ensures that the casino environment is a safe and fair place for all honest players.
Casino surveillance managers can earn over C$60,000 per annum.
Casino surveillance responsibilities include surveying the casino floor, identifying advantage players and cheaters, escorting unruly players off the floor, monitoring the cage, and generating incidence reports.