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Las Vegas Casinos Grapple with Surveillance Issues

Friday, October 25th, 2013 Las Vegas Casinos Grapple with Surveillance Issues

Surveillance is one of the most important things that casinos in Las Vegas invest in, to maintain a fair gaming atmosphere and to ensure security. Now you may think that you are being watched, no matter where you are in a casino, but the truth is that not every nook and corner of the casino is under surveillance. In fact, in most casinos of Las Vegas, only the casino floors have complete surveillance. The elevator landings, hotel lobbies and restaurants have little or no surveillance whatsoever, making them ideal zones for committing a crime. It is not only the guests, but also the casino’s own staff that is in danger due to no surveillance.

No Need for Extra Security, say Casino Bosses

Most of the movies featuring the Sin City casinos portray them as highly secure, what with all the security cameras planted at every nook and corner. These cameras play an important role in nabbing the bad guys in the movies, but they may not even exist in reality. Casinos in Vegas may be the most watched spaces in the world, or at least you may think so. But not all of them have video cameras in the hallways and hotel corridors, which can be encouraging for criminals.

In spite of that, casino bosses do not think there is need for extra surveillance. Las Vegas is known to have the highest number of security cameras watching the casino floors, more than what they have in airports across the US. But according to a survey by the Associates Press, 23 of the 27 casinos across the four Las Vegas strips have no security cameras near elevator landings or hallways.

Of the 27 casinos in Vegas, 23 are owned by MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The only casinos with surveillance cameras above the casino floors are Caesars Palace, Tropicana Las Vegas, MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood.

Patrons Have A False Sense of Security

Security consultant in Vegas, Fred Del Marva says that people visiting Las Vegas have a false sense of security. They may think that they have cameras all around and that they are safe, but that is not the case. He stated that even the Bellagio, which people may think is among the safest casinos, is not really safe and does not have surveillance in areas like elevator landings and lengthy corridors. Only last year, a hotel maid almost got killed by a naked man who chased her across the hallway of a casino hotel she was working at. There were no security cameras and the only way she could alert security was using her cell phone, after managing to hide in a cleaning closet.

In another, less violent incident that took place at a Las Vegas Casino, a tourist had her laptop stolen from her casino hotel room. As one may have guessed, there was no surveillance in the corridor to identify the thief or nab him. Luckily for the guest, the Las Vegas police were able to catch hold of the laptop thief soon enough.

Door-Push Concerns

One of the most common crimes in Las Vegas casinos is the “door-push” crime, where the miscreant keeps pushing hotel room doors until one simply swings open, as the guest had forgotten or was too drunk to lock the door. Security cameras cannot really prevent such crimes, says Gary Selesner, the president of Caesar’s Palace and Harrah’s casinos. He added that surveillance is really necessary in foyers and elevators, but in any case, the casino was installing more cameras in the hallways near hotel rooms, owing to the increasing door-push crime menace.