Do casinos have armed security?

They are not — in fact, there are very few casinos that allow their security forces to transport firearms nationwide.. The liability is enormous — imagine an attempted robbery in a somewhat busy casino and a security guard opens fire on a “perpetrator” and misses. Most security guards in the casino used to carry guns. For a while, very few guards remained armed.

But the trend has reversed again, and nowadays, some guards carry handguns with holsters. Does it make sense to arm your security personnel? Many casino executives have had to deal with the issue of guest and team member safety in the recent past, as incidents involving guns and shootings in gaming environments are attracting increasing attention. Currently, most casinos in North America do not have armed security guards. As gun incidents continue to escalate in the US,.

While law enforcement agencies generally don’t respond to an incident until after the incident is complete, it may be advisable to have armed security personnel if careful and deliberate analysis is carried out prior to deployment.. Some land-based casino companies have developed and deployed Security Emergency Response Teams (SERT), which are trained and armed to respond to dynamic incidents with weapons.. This process limits the number of armed security personnel and associated training and costs, including wages.. SERT teams have been used in many casinos in the past, particularly at special events where customer volumes have increased and are focused on one area, e.g.. B. at concerts or sporting events..

Some other casinos arm outside police with vehicles or bikes so they can respond inwards if needed.. This process was successful in some properties and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip in certain metropolitan areas.. The process uses an advanced layer of security that can respond wherever it’s needed.. Armed SERT teams, while far from common practice, show that large casino companies use at least a few security personnel who have experience, training, appropriate equipment, and experience to respond to incidents..

The huge size of some casino resorts is still causing delays in internal response. Some casinos hire former law enforcement or military specialists and pay them comparable wages.. Not all casinos can achieve this. I’ve received calls from casino managers interested in making their property as safe as possible and addressing the complex issue of deciding whether security personnel should be armed, whether they can even be legally armed, and how policies, procedures and training can be implemented to equip personnel with the right knowledge and weapons for the job.

The decision-making process should be very careful and thoughtful when it comes to your security officers carrying lethal weapons, which have a much higher risk of fatal consequences or very serious injuries.. A single shot that hits an innocent bystander can not only be devastating for everyone involved, it can also be costly to fight a lawsuit, can lead to enormous negative public perception and negative relationships, and impact an operation in many ways.. The struggle to decide whether or not security officers should be armed is ancient and dates back centuries. Given the additional risk posed by armed personnel with guns and the possibility that something could go wrong, the decision should include a comprehensive review and an independent risk assessment before making a final decision..

The following are some considerations to consider when carrying out a needs assessment and making a decision to arm security officers:. Legal authority to arm security personnel In many jurisdictions, and particularly in tribal areas, there are codified prohibitions for anyone, including security officers, to carry or own weapons on reservations or tribal property. The first serious review should include whether this is even possible from a legal perspective.. In some cases, the approval of the chief of police of the local police department, the sherriff, or the tribal police is required.

In other cases, it is prohibited by law under all circumstances. A legal review should be carried out to determine whether this is even possible and what legal risks exist. In some operations, this problem has been solved by hiring off-duty, sworn police officers who are present on their property in full uniform and in marked police vehicles to provide a potential deterrent and to enable a rapid response to armed incidents.. In some municipal police departments, police officers are prohibited from working in uniform for a casino property, and often other agencies, such as the County Sheriff’s Office, have this option..

Many companies were able to achieve this at a higher cost per hour, so the end result had a positive impact on deterrence and response.. Ideally, a police officer’s presence should last from sunrise to sunset, or at least 12 hours. A review of past incidents will also determine when a presence of law enforcement would be beneficial.. Other properties have difficulty, first getting police officers to work overtime voluntarily, second, drafting an agreement or letter of intent (MOU), and third, managing police officers when they are on property to ensure they are used effectively.


off-duty police officers is by far the most straightforward and cost-effective way to have someone armed on property with the full powers of a sworn police officer.. If this method is available, I’d definitely recommend considering it. The effects that arms security can have on claims and insurance premiums in general and, in the event of litigation, on future premiums are always worrying. The coverage ratio should be assessed to cover the typically higher damage costs associated with shootings.

Generally, insurance providers will have questions about policies, procedures, training, and equipment to determine whether and by how much premiums will rise. For larger companies with multiple properties or tribal businesses, the strength of the negotiation volume will play a role in insurance offers. Surprisingly, many insurance carriers don’t raise premiums when there’s an organized plan to reduce the risk of an incident where a security guard unloads their weapon and injures a customer or employee through “friendly fire.”. In some cases, restricting weapons to security managers and regulators has a positive effect on actuaries, who set premiums..

And finally, there are airlines that simply don’t make an offer to casinos that equip their security personnel with lethal weapons.. I would suggest that, after a legal review to determine whether this is even possible, the investigation should be completed to determine the additional costs of liability or criminal insurance. Insurance carriers will also provide information on what they would charge if security officers carried and potentially used weapons inside or outside a casino.. Almost every security professional I know reports difficulties filling basic positions for safety officers with even slightly qualified candidates with experience..

This can account for up to 20 percent of the total safety equipment.. Given this labor market complication and the additional requirements of more comprehensive background checks, psychological assessments, the ability to respond to incidents, and the ability to be trained, many casinos would be difficult to find qualified candidates to function as armed security officers in a crowded casino.. As with contract security companies in the USA. Arming higher-paid security personnel will almost always cause problems with existing security personnel who want the opportunity to be armed and earn more pay..

Realistically, most security directors will admit that there are many of their security officers who would not let them work armed for various reasons.. From a management perspective, every armed security officer must have more frequent background checks carried out to ensure that they were not involved in incidents with law enforcement agencies that used violence, including domestic violence.. In cases where security personnel have been involved, cited, or arrested, the usual practice is to take that security guard’s weapon, cut his pay, and monitor him unless the allegations prove unfounded. In addition, security officers who carry weapons should of course be compared against databases in which people are prohibited by law from owning or possessing a weapon, regardless of the reason..

If your property can’t fill the basic security guard posts with qualified applicants, you probably shouldn’t arm your security guards. Each professional responsible for security in a casino has different ideas and philosophies about whether armed security officers should carry their own weapons, ammunition, holsters, and other equipment, or whether they should be made available by the employer as a working tool.. These important decisions should also be carefully analysed.. Employers should determine what equipment security officers use, specify the type and caliber to ensure consistency and ensure that an individual security officer does not bring weapons or ammunition that are not authorized..

The weapon capacity of magazines is also a factor to be assessed.. Some security directors only allow revolvers and others only allow semi-automatic handguns. Another important piece of equipment is the primary holster, which is used on the duty belt.. Triple or dual-mount holsters have security features that make it difficult for an uncooperative suspect to seize weapons.

Other controls, including additional magazines or fast loaders, should also be controlled, as should the type and color of leather equipment for the seat belt. This is also an important evaluation factor when using armed security personnel in a crowded casino environment.. Guns should also have a prescribed schedule for cleaning, inspecting, and replacing ammunition at regular intervals.. Carrying out unexpected inspections of armed security officers’ weapons and equipment is also useful for compliance with prescribed procedures..

Because it is a lethal weapon, comprehensive policies and procedures should apply to the carrying and use of sanctioned weapons to ensure that all security officers comply with desired protocols and do not make their own interpretations.. The local police chief or sheriff can help you develop your policies and procedures.. They should include company policies, equipment regulations, and instructions on the use of lethal force, liability training, and how to de-escalate incidents.. In addition, protocols should be in place for the automatic review of incidents by a “Committee on the Use of Force” to carry out a review of measures and recommend disciplinary action (if necessary) and recommend future policy changes..

Training personnel to use and carry deadly weapons is by far the most important function before guns are allowed on your property.. The state has statutory laws or administrative regulations that govern the training of armed contract security officers, including curriculum and length of training.. Some properties believe that if supervisors carry weapons in disguise, they should have a concealed weapons permit (CCW), which also requires specialized training that is different from contractual security requirements. Regardless of the interpretations of sovereignty, real estate education should at least comply with state training standards in these two areas.

By meeting or exceeding state training standards, a first important step towards meeting statutory care standards can be achieved, including refresher training and intervals. Classroom training typically includes review of codified laws of jurisdiction, relevant case law, use of force, de-escalation, scenario-based training, and safety issues. In addition, training may include gun operation, weapon maintenance and care, holster storage, aim, and other areas. Situational training is valuable and is recommended by most security experts who teach security personnel the important and careful use of force in a casino environment.

The actual exercise of range is also important to ensure that all armed security officers maintain their capabilities.. The actual firing of a weapon in training maintains perishable abilities and ensures that a particular security guard has not developed a loss of vision or other changes in critical senses or reaction time.. While it is beneficial to hire former law enforcement officers who have extensive training if you can find them, training should not be avoided regardless of experience level. Practice and qualification intervals start twice a year, and many companies require quarterly training of security personnel..

This also causes high costs for wages and equipment and should be considered in the overall analysis.. A careful review of the product range qualification process should be documented and maintained.. Finally, I’d like to say that a comprehensive documented review of the security operation, including a risk, threat and vulnerability assessment, would be advisable before making a decision to arm security officers in a casino.. Vice President G2E Event, RX; Senior Vice President, Membership %26 Events, American Gaming Association President and Vice President, International Gaming Standards Association Eastern Regional President, Caesars Entertainment With a careful growth plan, world-class talent and strong game design, Bluberi aims to be at the forefront of the slot market. Consolidations, partnerships and rapid market launches characterize the development of cashless gambling Effective casino marketing goes deeper than just free gaming, how strong is your brand strength? In gaming, the future is female and it starts now Why the Philippines is taking over Macau’s crown.

Security personnel who work in casinos are known as gambling surveillance officers.. They are tasked with keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior from customers and employees and preventing theft and fraud.. Gambling monitoring officers generally require at least a high school diploma or GED, and most states require gambling officials to be licensed. Casinos have learned from this robbery that they must be guided by their own security strategies for many of their practices, rather than relying too much on instructions from local gambling authorities..

These vehicles are extremely safe and the guards are usually heavily armed.. The money is not kept open for very long, making it very difficult for robbers to carry out a robbery. Most, if not all, casinos in Las Vegas have armed security guards who can usually respond more quickly to an incident like this than the police. All in all, any losses a casino suffers as a result of a criminal act that an armed security guard may (or may not) be able to prevent are more than made up for by insurance that covers the loss, by the savings of unarmed personnel, and by the protection of casino guests and the guards themselves..

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) A Las Vegas Metro police officer charged with an armed robbery at a Las Vegas casino is also accused of robbing two more casinos while using a department firearm, documents say. As the Vee Quiva Casino case below shows, employees can play a critical role in preventing robberies — but only if they know how to respond.