They use some of the most advanced security tactics in the world, including some of the most highly trained individuals in existence. But it isn’t at your local airport and it isn’t your military. In fact, this security has far less to do with safety, but their reason is highly motivated- they are the security force that looks after casino floors, and they are very good at what they do. The security agents for casinos know literally every trick in the book. In fact, casinos often employ former cheats to help detect cheating. That’s why they know that if they are going to beat cheating they need to have some of the most advanced tools in the world. Casino security rooms often look like something NASA would be using, not a part of the entertainment industry. Over the years they have developed some extremely advanced tactics for catching cheating and it takes a highly trained staff to do so, but the real star of the anti-cheating show is the video wall that allows high definition images to be transmitted into the security room. Below I’m going to post some of my favorite security rooms in the casino industry and talk about how they utilize multiple monitors to make their job possible.
Believe it or not, this is an older image from a casino in Copenhagen. They are using about 5 different monitors, each able to monitor multiple tables at once. They are also using software that will allow the security engineer to call up any particular table, and more importantly different players at different tables and monitor their actions.
Before the days of computer technology though, security analysts would use a wall of CRT monitors. Even then they were able to deter and catch a reasonable amount of cheating through close monitoring of casino floors. This image was from a PBS documentary called Spying on the Home Front that discussed in detail the use of civilian monitoring, particularly in casinos.
Gran Casino uses a technology known as NUUO to help monitor their casino. One of the areas that they have to watch the closest is actually employee cheating and theft. They carefully monitor the interaction of casino players with the actions of casino workers too. It’s amazing how this technology can actually recognize unusual events at the game table and alert casino owners on the fly. It even has the ability to monitor both large crowds for strange behavior and more importantly it can monitor large cash transactions.
This picture comes from inside a large and well-known Las Vegas casino where they monitor the activities of their guests very closely. Because of the size of this casino they have rather large (especially in comparison with some of the other casinos) staff that monitors these video walls very closely. They use a large video wall and each security guard is given an area to monitor. Most of the security staff has been highly trained and knows exactly what anomalies to look for when they are scanning the casino crowd.
Here’s a shot of the surveillance room at the popular M Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Agents here monitor one large wall looking for strange behavior, but can quickly zoom in on a given player or table at their station where they have multiple high definition monitors setup to help pick out oddities in player action. The M Resort has a group of men that are working around the clock at any given time. They are experts in their field!
At London’s West End, the Empire casino can be seen from 3 blocks away with its bright lights that call out to passers-by, inviting to them to come play. But if you aren’t on the up-and-up you’d better be aware, their security team doesn’t take cheating lightly and chances are they will catch you if you try to cheat. They use advanced video wall technology, such as video walls and screen splitting and pinning security. This is precisely how they were able to catch a group of cheat back in 2009. The message is clear: the technology to catch you is stronger than any cheating skill that you may have acquired, so don’t try it, you will be caught.
At Treasure Island in Las Vegas, you can watch shows, drink drinks and play games, but you’d better not cheat. This is their newly upgraded security matrix, which includes some of the top of the line technology. They are serious about beating cheaters, so don’t do it. Teams of 2 monitor a large video wall that’s comprised of multiple monitors. At any given time, security staff can call up a particular window on to a large monitor and analyze game play (or cheating) more closely. High definition cameras and monitors mean that security personal isn’t just looking at blurred images like they might have in the old days. They can call up razor sharp images in real time to help detect would be cheats.
Here’s another image of a security pro watching players. He refers to his job as a Las Vegas security expert as “watching people professionally” and he’s very good at what he does, and thanks to his video wall and high definition monitoring equipment, he’s even better at it. Interestingly enough, in a interview with one of the best in the business, he says that most the of the time these days employees are to blame for mistakes, usually just because they aren’t paying attention. It has become increasingly difficult to cheat in Vegas thanks to a few tricks, like not using full decks for blackjack, etc. But undoubtedly he tells some funny stories about the patrons as well; saying that the most money he’s ever seen anyone lose in one hand was $25,000 and a lot of other interesting stories.
Regardless of the state or even the country that the hotel is located in, you’ll find high tech, multiple monitor video walls in nearly every security room. With specialized training and advanced software, the days of cheating a casino are long gone. While casino cheats may hate this, the casino owners love multiple monitor technology and the additional security that it provides. In the end, the advantage is also given to players, as the revenue saved from cheaters is passed on to consumers in the form of comps and other hotel perks. Multiple monitor technology and in particular video wall technology have made casinos a safer and more fun place for everyone.