I’m sure you’ve all seen Ocean’s Eleven, but if you haven’t, George Clooney and Brad Pitt lead a team to steal from some of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas. It’s sophisticated, it’s smart and it works. They leave the premises armed with bags full of cash – but it’s only a film.
However, it’s the job of the casino security team’s job to ensure that this can only happen in the fantasy world of Hollywood heist movies. Of course, over the years, there have been a plenty of high profile heists equipped with the latest technology, but the casinos are confident those days are long gone.
Knowing every little detail
For casinos nowadays, security is paramount. This means they know every little detail of their casino, from highlighting a player with previous misdemeanours at the casino, to monitoring every table very closely — nothing will be left unturned. Any suspicious patters or unnusual activity will be picked up on immediately.
How it’s monitored
With casinos vaults required to hold a dollar for every chip in the casino, it’s inevitable that they will be targeted. Given that, they have to take strict precautionary measures, so from the moment that you step into the building, every move that you make will be tracked. Here are some of the ways they look to guarantee security.
Biometric facial recognition – Whether you’re a stunner or have a face that only a Mother can love, the casino will have their eyes on you when you walk in. But that’s nothing to worry about – for the average Joe. If you are a criminal with intent to wreak havoc, then it’s a nightmare. The surveillance will have a list of known casino criminals or suspicious players and if your features match then security will be on you in a flash.
NORA – This stands for Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness, and it’s another sign of how the systems have developed over recent years. This software allows the casino to instantly determine whether two players know each other, and as you could imagine that will be really helpful on the table games were crooks could try and collude.
This technology is so advanced that it has now been used by the FBI and the CIA, and it’s easy to see why. The invasion of privacy may alarm some of you, but ANNA, the updated version of this doesn’t share such an extent of sensitive information, thus avoiding legal issues.
Surveillance room – As briefly touched on, all of this technology is great, but it needs to be used effectively and casinos will ensure that their surveillance rooms are actng on all the information they have. So that when any red flags are raised, or suspicious activity takes place, they can get a clear indication of what’s going on.
RFID Chips – When stealing from a casino, whilst not as sought after as cash, the criminals could also try and take chips. They could be sold on to other punters to cash out, or even cashed out themselves. However, casinos have put an abrupt stop to that. Chips are now fitted with RFID tags which enables the casinos to track them, and make sure they are worthless as soon as they are reported missing.
Security are ready
Whilst all of those methods are excellent tools to prevent any issues, with millions of dollars’ available security have to be ready to act in case anything is breached. This comes in a variety of forms, including strategic positions which means that every exit is covered and no guard will be two minutes away from a certain sector of the casino.
Furthermore, only specific personnel will be given the codes and passwords to the highly private areas, and by keeping the circle small it limits the information that could potentially slip out. Armed guards will also be present in certain areas of the casino which is another successful way of acting as a warning, along with a reassurance to the regular guests.
Of course, guards and all employees on the floor are also well-trained to deal with a crisis, ensuring calm heads should the worst-case situation arise.
Catching the cheats
As well as the vaults, cheating is another issue in the casino. Obviously, some of the security methods we have touched on, like face recognition and NORA, come into play identifying cheats as well.
They give the casino instant access to knowing all about a person, who they are, associates and crimes. It gives them a clearer view on who they are dealing with.
There are many different types of cheating and they include;
Card-marking – altering cards to make their value visible to other players, this can also be done by block-out, which involved putting something slight on a card that will make it noticeable to them.
Tinting – this is subtler, and is done by tinting a slight area of the card.
Cut-out – players would use a razor to scrape off some of the printed areas on the back of a card.
Hand-mucking – this is when players would seemingly be having their hands in their pockets or jackets but would be trying to switch cards.
Of course, there are additional ways to cheat but these are some of the most common ways you can see players trying to get one over the casino. But, as you would expect, there are advanced technological ways to spot this.
Angel Eye – It can actually be very difficult to spot card switching for the casino, which is popular in blackjack, if it is done to a high standard. However, Angel Eye adds an invisible barcode to each card that is read when it comes out of the shoe. A camera above will then check the cards to the system, and you don’t want them to be different!
TableEye 21 – an overhead camera that checks the data coming off the RFID chips and can monitor all aspects of the game. Whether it’s the speed of the game or how much the players are winning, all of this is checked and if something seems off, the inspectors will intervene.
So, there you have it, a look into the complex world that is casino security. As you can see with systems like NORA, casinos are in fact ahead of the likes of the FBI and CIA in certain aspects. They know more about the players and your lives than ever before, which may seem over the top. So, if you don’t like that, then we recommend staying online with LadyLucks and our great slots! But in all seriousness, it’s a necessary step to ensure those motivated by Clooney and Pitt can’t have the same success.