Casinos’ bottomless pits of wasted money: “Game Protection”


There are two major areas in which casinos waste millions of dollars annually that are both related to the loosely-defined art of “game protection.” The obsession with eliminating any patrons who might have the brains and wherewithal to win in the long run (“advantage players”) and the out-of-control security departments maintained by many casinos create avoidable costs that competent managers in well-run businesses would quickly identify and eliminate.

Just a quick glance at the information on the World Game Protection Expo indicates the level of fear and paranoia that is rampant in the casino industry. Somehow the casino folks cannot see the obvious -- most of the “game protection” products and their purveyors are simply fleecing the casinos. The purveyors are de facto advantage players themselves but hide in plain sight. As stated in Nicholas Colon’s article, Why Advantage Players shouldn’t worry casinos, “These firms have a financial interest in scaring casinos into using their products by perpetuating the exaggerated reputations of organised advantage play teams …” Over the years, untold millions of shareholder dollars have been wasted on these dubious products and services.

The other area, security thuggery, is still prevalent despite dozens of settlements and jury awards over the years totaling millions of dollars. Improved hiring and training standards for security guards would save the casino industry so much wasted money, But the decision-makers myopically look at the payouts for wrongful employee behavior as a minor inconvenience. The plain truth is that if the guards would obey common-sense, well-known principles of law, most of the patron abuse lawsuits would not happen. Indeed, common-sense lessons for those who manage security departments are widely available but are ignored. What’s the problem? Do these folks not want to read? Following simple guidelines would save millions of dollars annually.

Casino security and common sense are well-covered in Eject, Evict, Trespass and 86, by Alan W. Zajic, renowned patron attorney Bob Nersesian’s excellent The Law for Gamblers, A Legal Guide to the Casino Environment and its predecessor, Beat the Players: Casinos, Cops And the Game Inside the Game. These works offer plain, good advice to casino security and “game protection” managers and staff. How many casino department managers have read this material? Anyone? How many have passed it along in training of staff? Anyone? It should be required reading.

If I was a shareholder in casino companies, I would be clamoring to stop so much of my money being stupidly wasted.


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