Richard Marcus, Casino Game Protection Consultant and Trainer, Richard Marcus Books
I recently received an email from a reader of my blog criticizing me and others in the game protection industry for "just going way too far". He said that we are covering things that simply have nothing to do with casino game protection. He cited the October 1st Las Vegas massacre as a prime example.
The writer is someone who is not in the business but whom I know well for having made several worthy comments to me over the years. So I began to think about what he said and soon I found myself asking if his critique did indeed have merit. In fact, I had thought of this before and even questioned it, but then I just let it go and went with the flow.
Has casino game protection gone too far?
We all know that the number-one horror story in Las Vegas, and in the entire United States for that matter, during the year 2017 was the terrible mass-shooting committed by Stephan Paddock. Fifty-nine people died and hundreds more were wounded in this unbelievable senseless act of terror.
The shooting also seemed to be the number-one story for casino game-protection-related websites, blogs and Twitter accounts, especially those operating from Las Vegas.
We all certainly appreciate the loss of life, destruction of lives and the terrible suffering that this tragic event caused, and I certainly appreciate the roles that casino surveillance and security must play in order to better prepare for these types of events and maybe even help stop them before they happen or at least minimize the devastation.
But what I am suddenly not so sure about is that terrorism and mass-murder, whether it be internationally inspired or the work of some madman (or in Paddock's case a seemingly sane guy seeking revenge for gambling losses), should be so directly related to all the topics and practices that fall under the umbrella of what you and I call "Casino Game Protection."
I have followed just about everything online about casino game-protection since I first got involved in it after a 25-year-career cheating casinos that culminated in my writing a book and finally becoming a casino game-protection trainer myself.
For the first few years during my transition from an interested person to an active participant in game protection, "game protection" simply meant protecting casino games from cheats, thieves, crooked employees and advantage players. It was nothing more than training casinos how to protect their table games and slot machines from those looking to take advantage of weak internal controls and other flaws to take money out of the casino cages.
But it surely began to evolve after 9/11.
I first noticed it when an Israeli anti-terrorism expert gave a gruesome presentation at the 2007 World Game Protection Conference (WGPC) at which I was the keynote speaker. Although I was a bit surprised by his very presence there, I certainly understood it. Of course there was the real threat of a terrorist attack at a Las Vegas or any other American casino.
Next came the computer hackers and high-tech fraud experts. I understood that as well. Hackers and fraudsters certainly had already invaded casinos' financial and information systems.