Casino security and safety remain the most important objectives of casinos over the world. Indeed, casinos are like honeypots – with massive stockpiles of cash in their vaults, and a fortune changing hands every minute on the casino floor, at tables, and in the cages. For casino executives, guarding that money, protecting against criminals, fraudsters, and hackers is sacrosanct. 

Security is a big expense item on the budget, and it encompasses a multi-pronged approach, involving manpower, high-tech surveillance equipment, video analytics solutions, non-obvious relationship awareness software, and a veritable cornucopia of other options that make it virtually impossible to commit a crime and get away with it.

Hollywood movie moguls, directors and film studios have romanticized the notion of committing the perfect casino heist. One need look no further than ‘Ocean’s 11’ starring Hollywood A-listers Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner and the erstwhile comedic talents of Bernie Mac. Such is our fascination with casino heist flicks that this one raked in $450 million worldwide. While movie studios glorify the art of the casino heist, even the most elaborate plans stand no chance of success with today's casino security technology. 

888 casino NJ is about to take you behind-the-scenes, to the ‘nerve center’ of casino security operations. Casinos have mastered the art of smoke and mirrors, presenting a luxurious and inviting milieu to players, guests, and revelers of all persuasions – but if you look ever so closely, you will start to notice just how jacked the security operations really are. Buckle up! We're going to hit the casino security scene with everything we've got, and you're about to lock horns with a veritable ‘Maginot Line’ of fortress-like security.

WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT CASINO SECURITY?

If you're thinking about robbing a casino, think again. Gone are the days where a couple of mobsters and hired muscle patrolled the inner confines of a casino, guarding the chips, cashier's cage, and entry/exit points. Back then, there was the slightest of possibilities that a smooth criminal could pull one over the security guards. Today, you won't get very far. Everyone understands that casinos are flush with cash. They're in the business of making money – lots of money. That's why security is extra special at a casino. 

Let’s take a casino security vault as a case in point. It's not a stretch of the imagination to assume that the level of safety and security with a casino’s vault is identical to that of a bank vault. You may have seen a bank vault in person – behind the row of tellers at your local Wells Fargo, Bank of America, BB&T, or Citibank.

A casino vault is less conspicuous since there is no reason for players, guests, or revelers to have any contact with the vault. Still unsure? Movies like The Real McCoy (Kim Basinger), Inside Man (Clive Owen), and Firewall (Harrison Ford) are great examples of what a casino vault looks like.

That's pretty much what you can expect with a high-tech, ironclad casino security system.  Needless to say, there is scant information on the Internet about the types of vaults that casinos use, for obvious reasons. You can expect all manner of security protocols to be in place including scores of cameras, alarm systems, fireproofing, multiple safes, and checkpoints to enter vaults. Biometric scans, retina scans, and security chip-access are standard within the inner-chambers of a casino’s security operation. 

One of the administrators from Wizard of Vegas toured a Las Vegas casino’s cage and confirmed that he saw multiple tables for counting currency, lots of eyes in the sky (cameras), and one-way glass in these rooms. Every time you enter a security room, the next door opens only once the previous door has locked. The rooms are small so that it's impossible for large numbers of people to force their way in and pull off a heist. 

The doors to the security vaults are made from reinforced steel, possibly even armored steel. We have heard accounts from various casino insiders that there are only a few casino vaults that include retinal scans, biometrics, or the need to turn two keys at the same time for the vault to open.

Time delay locks are also a rarity, yet not unheard-of. We have also been told by those in the know that the typical Las Vegas casino vault holds $5 million – $10 million at any given time.

Now it's time for a WOW moment! Casinos have deployed groundbreaking security technology known as NORA software. N.O.R.A. is an acronym for Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness Software.

Such is the sophistication of the software that it can even identify relationships between known or suspected criminals. It digs deep into their past and identifies communications that people have sent to one another, addresses they may have in common, calls to one another, and so forth. 

It is used with the express purpose of rooting out cheaters, crooks, hackers, and unsavory characters at the casino. FYI, high-level government agencies and big banks use the same software too. Several casinos in France are now using biometric security systems which require patrons and staff to provide their fingerprints which are then stored in a database.

Unbeknownst to many players at the casino, facial recognition software is also in effect. Smart technology allows casinos to instantly identify individuals based on a 3-second comparative analysis against known criminals and ejected players.

ARE EX-SPECIAL FORCES OPERATIVES WORKING AS SECURITY CONSULTANTS AT CASINOS?

According to Career Trend, casino security jobs require rudimentary education at most. For example, anyone can apply for a standard security job with a GED or a high school diploma. As a Las Vegas security guard, all of your training will be done on-site. There is no need for you to have prior experience as a security officer, former police casino security guardsofficer, or ex-military special ops experience.

Here's the clincher: your application for a security position at a Las Vegas casino will certainly be helped if you have a law enforcement background. Military training, police training, or previous security guard training is certainly a benefit. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) warrants that certain US states require licenses to be issued if casino security officers are going to be carrying firearms on the premises. A casino security officer is not the same as a casino surveillance officer. The latter requires extensive skills and abilities, such as an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations of different types of casino games, behavioral analysis, and extensive experience with high-tech computer software used for surveillance and monitoring. Casino security officers are like the street cops who patrol their beat, while the casino surveillance officers are like the investigators who pour over the data from the office.

It is safe to say that any armed security position is going to require more extensive background checks, training, and licensing than an unarmed security position. Candidates may also be required to have a background in criminal justice, with law enforcement or even military experience.

If the casino contracts out its security to a private security firm, that company may have benchmarks which all security agents are expected to meet. This may include military training, or a law enforcement background. Security companies contracting out to casinos may also provide the necessary training to their employees, with a special emphasis on legal issues, liability issues, communication, powers of arrest, observation, and documentation.

CASINO SECURITY JOBS

A myriad of casino security jobs exist, given the popularity of casinos and the need for around-the-clock security and surveillance. A rudimentary search for ‘casino security’ on Indeed.com reveals thousands of casino security jobs.

Such is the nature of the industry (hotel and casino work) that one can expect a high turnover rate with casino security jobs. Given the low-level entry requirements, many security officers enjoy moving between different casino resorts in Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City, and beyond. Each job posting lists the job requirements, duties, and responsibilities expected of the applicant.

Jobs are readily available in the security industry, including security officer at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, security officer at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana, security investigator at Tropicana Entertainment in Atlantic City, security personnel jobs at Casinos in Renton Washington, security guards at the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania, director of security at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, in Las Vegas Nevada, security guard at Grand Casino in Onamia, Minnesota, and even Security Training Manager jobs at places like MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan.

LAS VEGAS SECURITY JOBS

Where better to put your casino security skills to the test than America's adult playground – Las Vegas, Nevada! Las Vegas is home to the world's most glittering hotel and casino resorts, including the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Mirage, MGM Grand, the Cosmopolitan, Paris Las Vegas, the Luxor, Treasure Island, the Flamingo, the Stratosphere, Wynn, and countless others. At any given time, you can rest assured that openings for Las Vegas security jobs are available. 

For example, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa recently posted for a director of security, while the Plaza Hotel Casino Bingo in Las Vegas advertised for a security officer. El Cortez Hotel and Casino recently posted for an armed security officer, and Red Rock, Resort Casino Spa in Las Vegas is interviewing for a manager of security. The Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower is looking for a Surveillance Investigator Trainee, while Wynn Las Vegas posted for Security Officer Wynn Nightlife 2020. 

All it takes is a quick and easy Google search for Las Vegas security jobs to find a listing of the latest job offers. These positions get filled quickly, and many more open up, given the high turnover in the industry.

CASINO SECURITY IN HOLLYWOOD

Hollywood is the epitome of high-stakes entertainment. It is filled with actors, agents, celebrities, stars and starlets, directors, writers, producers, business moguls, and multi-millionaires as far as the eye can see. In and around Hollywood, California are many world-famous Los Angeles casinos, these include the Bicycle Hotel and Casino, Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Hollywood Park Casino, San Manuel Bingo and Casino, Commerce Casino, and more.

Many California-based casinos are a combination of licensed and regulated card clubs, and Native American casinos. Most of the games at these Los Angeles-based casinos are blackjack and poker variants, with the occasional craps table. 

The Native American casinos feature video poker terminals and slots games as well. Hollywood Park Casino (HPC) is minutes away from LAX and downtown Los Angeles. It is nestled in the city of Inglewood California, and is highly regarded among players and fans.

The casino is currently accepting applications for surveillance operator which requires candidates to provide 5-star customer support, monitor proprietary alarm systems, take appropriate action, monitor the floor for illegal activities, assisting in the review of video streams, and report in-house policy violations to the surveillance lead manager and director of surveillance.

This prestigious venue is a hive of activity with top-class Cal Games like No Bust Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Baccarat, 3 Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Party Craps, Pan-9, and 2-Way Winner.

THE SALARY

Salaries vary from one resort to another, and are based upon experience, job description, and whether or not you will be carrying a firearm. Glassdoor lists the average base pay for a casino security officer at $13 per hour. The low-end average hourly wage is $10, and the high end is $13. Additional cash compensation amounts to $1,978 (approximately).

The hourly wage for casino security work at Caesars Entertainment ranges between $10 per hour - $13 per hour. Casino security officers at the Tropicana Casino and Resort average an hourly wage of $11-$12. At Horseshoe Gaming, casino security officers can earn an hourly wage of $13 - $14, and at Foxwoods Resort Casino, the casino security officer hourly wage ranges between $12 - $13.

Salary.com is more generous with its salary range for casino security officers, with a low-end figure of $12 and a high-end figure of $17. When total hourly cash (base salary and short-term incentives) are added in, the average total hourly cash rises to $18 per hour. Given that the level of education is typically a high school certificate or GED, entry-level wages can be expected.

The more years you have as an experienced security officer, the higher your hourly wage will be. In terms of ranking, the base level is a security guard at the casino with little or no experience, followed by a security officer at a casino with up to 1-year of experience. The highest level in this career trajectory is a security shift supervisor assistant with between 1-3 years of experience. 

Naturally, casino security managers, directors, and surveillance experts get paid significantly more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures indicate that the average wage for a surveillance officer is $15.40 per hour with an annual salary of $32,040 (2012 figures).

More recently, the average gaming surveillance officer hourly pay was listed as $14.86 per hour on Payscale.com, with an hourly rate of $11-$20, a bonus ranging between $297 – $2,358, and a total compensation package anywhere between $24,580 – $52,072 (August 25, 2019). Clearly, if you are going to go into the casino security scene, your best bet is to become a gaming surveillance officer.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CASINO SECURITY GUARD

security guard can easily respond

There are 2 tracks to consider when examining the duties, tasks, and responsibilities of a casino security guard. The first is what the casino expects you to do and the other is what you actually end up doing as a casino security guard. Hopefully, there's very little daylight between what is expected and what is carried out.

To find out what security guards actually do from day to day, we took to social media platforms like Indeed.com and read reviews from former security officers. Here are some of the comments we pulled up:

• ‘As soon as you get out of the shift briefing, and go onto the gaming floor, the unpredictable is waiting. You learn real quick that you can't profile anyone. That person who looks like he may be a problem, might be an icon. Management normally trusts your judgment and lets the officer decide on how to deal with possible problem customers. If you need them to step in they will. There is a real sense of comradeship among the staff. It is hard on weekends and holidays due to the large crowds, but the night goes fast because of it. If you enjoy watching people… this is the job for you.’

• ‘Won't hire you if you are overqualified. Management is afraid you will take their job. Disrespectful. Conniving. Looking to stab you in the back. Stay clear of this place. Underpaid.’ 

• ‘Boring day's work. Learn nothing. To long of a process to get the job - about a month. People are nice. Nothing enjoyable only if you like working with clients all night.’

• ‘The company constantly tries to give to those around us. Several fundraisers were in motion. You will meet some of the best and worst people. The company allows you to grow as a person and as an employee.’

• ‘It depends on the hours you work but it can be kind of cool. I did not like working midnights anymore so that was the main reason I left. Some of the people are really nice.’

• ‘Maintaining security of guests and employees at the casino; greeting people coming in the door and customer service to the guests when needed and extra security for special events.’

• ‘If you are a people person, then this is a great job for you. By working here, you will interact with numerous guests and other employees on a daily basis.’

Consider the requirements listed by Allied Universal in San Diego, California. They state that they need their security guards to be able to ensure that the casino is provided with high quality security services at all times. The security officer must maintain the highest levels of proficiency in the use of protective equipment, weapons, and restraining devices.

Additionally, the security officer must be able to perform in any environment while carrying authorized weapons and ammunition and protective gear. The officer is responsible for the safety of everyone at the casino.

Security guards are also required to maintain an acute awareness with site-specific requirements, operational performance, et cetera. All of this must be performed within the ambit of a service-oriented industry, where the wellbeing of guests is the #1 priority

CASINO SECURITY OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTION

• The security officer must meet the minimum age requirement.

• The minimum level of education is a GED or a high school diploma.

• The casino security officer is required to use audio-visual surveillance equipment for monitoring of irregular activities and ensure compliance with local/state gambling regulations.

• The candidate may be required to possess 1-2 years of casino security experience.

• The candidate must have basic computer skills, excellent verbal and written skills.

• The candidate must be legally allowed to live and work in the United States and must obtain an unrestricted gaming licence (if required).

• The candidate must be prepared for the physical aspects of the job, including long periods of standing, sitting, bending, walking, or even lifting. The security officer will be required to interact with guests and staff around the clock, deal with different types of situations, and resolve issues quickly.

TRAINING

Behind the veil of the fun and games is the serious business of casino security. Teams of casino security personnel work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ensuring the safety of the establishment, the workers, and fellow guests. Casino security training begins in-house, because every casino has its own nuances, requirements, and security protocols.

A dispatch team informs security officers of various incidents (these include medical incidents, fires, security breaches, criminal activity, chip fills, et al) and teams of security personnel operate synergistically to resolve issues.

The size of the property, the day of the week, and the time of year typically determine how many security officers will be working on any given shift. Most every resource we have consulted indicates that gaming surveillance officer job training and casino security training takes place in house.

CASINO SECURITY TECHNOLOGY

RFID chip

There are 4 types of technologies used by casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Macau, and Monte Carlo. These include the following:

The Angel Eye - owing to the problems associated with card switching at Asian casinos, this new technology features invisible ink barcodes which are only visible to the Angel Eye. The security system monitors the cards that are in play and immediately identifies counterfeit cards

• Facial Recognition Technology - this technology actively monitors the faces of everyone coming into the casino and is capable of analyzing intricate facial details, so that anyone on a no-play list, or known felons can be identified and apprehended post-haste.

• License Plate Technology – casinos have cameras set up in the parking lots to monitor all of the license plates in the area. If a license plate is flagged as a problematic one from the database, the authorities can be alerted and the individuals apprehended.

• RFID – RFID is an acronym for radio frequency ID equipment which is embedded in casino chips and playing cards to prevent fake cards and chips from being introduced to games. These microchips broadcast at a low-level radiofrequency which can only be read by the RFID equipment.

Many casinos expect their security officers to be proficient with the use of two-way radios, video cameras, software, and surveillance equipment. 

GAMING SURVEILLANCE

Gaming surveillance is an important component of overall casino security. The surveillance of casino tables, slot machines, public areas, and gaming floors is a integral to overall casino security. A gaming surveillance officer is a more specialized vocation than a standard security officer at the casino. Gaming surveillance encompasses the monitoring of all activity in the casino with the intent of detecting, preventing, or deterring criminal behavior.

A gaming surveillance officer enforces all gaming laws on the casino property, and most of their time is spent in a surveillance room a.k.a. observation room with 1-way mirrors, replete with audio-visual monitors for watching everything taking place on the casino floor. Sometimes, a surveillance officer will move about in the casino. Gaming surveillance entails reporting suspicious activity to the casino security director.

About the Author
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With digital marketing strategies in his blood, Louis Wheeler has traveled around the world, exploring gambling cultures and gaining experience in casino games from 2003. If you are in a casino anywhere around the planet, you may find him right next to you, playing blackjack, roulette or texas hold'em.