The casino industry is one of the most protected entertainment venues with security personnel and video surveillance on virtually every inch of the property, but in a business enterprise dominated by transactions involving currency and paper and plastic instruments with cash value, casinos are vulnerable to criminal activity.

“The sheer volume of cash and currency that flows through casinos creates opportunities for fraud and counterfeiting,” said Alan Zajic, principal of AWZ Consulting, Wadsworth, Nev.

Closed-circuit television camera surveillance (CCTV) has become an essential element of casino security. They can monitor a relatively large area and capture indisputable evidence of criminal perpetration.

“With this technology, we can closely watch employees to determine if they are involved with theft or embezzlement,” Zajic said.

Move to cashless

In recent years, ticket in/ticket out (TITO) systems have gained popularity among gaming establishments and their patrons. Customers insert paper money, such as a $20 bill, into coinless slot-machine bill acceptors, which incorporate TITO technology. Tickets come out of the machines freshly printed, each with its own unique validation number and bar coding. Once tickets are in the system, they leave a paper trail that allows casinos to run reports via the computer, providing information that would otherwise not be available.

“This electronic process has revolutionized the gaming industry,” Zajic said. “Casinos are counting tickets rather than cash. When customers hit a jackpot, the machine spits out receipts. Customers take receipts to the ‘cage,’ where there’s a barcode-reader system, which reads them, and the cashier pays.”

In the future, casinos will be increasingly relying on biometric technology to enhance security and discourage cheaters on the casino floor.

“This technology involves facial recognition programs,” Zajic said. “For example, if an individual is wanted for counterfeiting by the Secret Service and a casino adds a biometrics program to its surveillance systems, managers and personnel will be able to recognize the individual and call the authorities.”