These are just two examples of robberies that have made headlines recently, and the problem is much wider. In January of this year, three Ilford teenagers who carried out nine separate robberies in East London - targeting venues such as Cashino at Wood Green – were jailed for 25 years. In December of last year, a man who was suspected of carrying out several robberies in Las Vegas was confronted at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Police used a stun gun to try and contain the suspect, but resorted to using a conventional weapon when he reached for a gun of his own. The suspect died at the scene.
A minority of criminals have always targeted casinos, but the dramatic increase in the number of venues that have been opened in the last decade or two has seen that minority grow substantially. From London to Las Vegas, those who would rather steal than work for a living have realised that casinos always have plenty of cash to plunder, and the rise in casino robberies around the world is a trend that the industry must work hard to address.
There are, it seems to us, only two approaches that casinos can take to reduce their odds of being robbed. The first is to tighten security as far as possible. Of course, most establishments would argue that’s security is already tight, but no system is ever perfect, so there are always improvements that can be made. Many casinos are easier to visit than ever before, for example, so maybe admission procedures could be made a little stricter to make casual entry more difficult for opportunists.
The second approach to reducing a casino’s appeal as a target for crime would be to hold less cash on the premises. A deliberate shift to encourage more plastic or electronic payments and fewer cash transactions might help in this respect, and whilst that strategy might make venues less popular with the most determined ‘cash in hand’ clients, it would also make them less appealing to the criminal fraternity.
However the industry chooses to address this issue, the best defence against robbery right now is diligence, and players can assist casino staff in this respect by exercising patience during routine security checks and by reporting any suspicious behaviour to staff members without delay.