Gaming Security Conference Addresses Casino Cheating

The bright lights bring millions to Vegas hoping an escape to a fantasy world will make dreams come true. But some don’t come to gamble for fun.

The industry that makes our city tick is constantly under attack by thieves trying to make a quick buck. But the men and women who are the eyes and ears of surveillance and security are learning all the tricks of the trade — with the newest technology on the market.

Their job is to catch casino cheats who try to steal from the life blood of our community. This goes well beyond someone trying to steal a couple chips, management at The Orleans recently shut down a high tech heist.

Three slot workers allegedly took the casino for more than a million dollars and whether it’s an inside job or not, casinos are fighting back.

„When they gang up against casinos, they can take casinos for a lot of money,“ said Willy Allison, the President of World Game Protection.

And the thieves really mean business.

„Anytime you got that much money and that many people, there’s always going to be someone looking for the edge,“ said Macau Security Surveillance Manager Wayne Stevens.

Cheats walk through casino doors every day. They press their luck, hoping to beat the system.

„If you’ve got a weakness, there’s someone out there that’s going to find it and they’re going to exploit it,“ said Stevens.

The World Game Protection Conference at Paris Las Vegas investigates the cheating culture and the danger it poses to gaming.

„Casinos are vulnerable. When I first got into the business, it was explained to me that casinos are just like a huge bank without receipts,“ said Allison.

The two-day expo features the latest technology that may just keep more bettors honest. Casino surveillance rooms are going digital and high-tech. Eyes in the sky are watching more than ever and that’s an invaluable tool for casinos.

„The information they can get when they know what they’re doing is incredible,“ said Dennis Crabtree with Pelco.

Beyond the technology, knowledge is the best weapon to fight tricks the cheats have up their sleeves. Information and intelligence shared at this conference are trade secrets that no one would talk publicly about.

The stakes are high, but someone will always try to bring down the house. One area of concern now is criminals taking advantage of slot technology. They operate like computer hackers and try to get into the system.

Also, experts say 2007 was one of the worst years for employee theft like that seen at The Orleans.