Five Things that are Absolutely Necessary to Protect Casino Games, Part 4

NOTE Willy Allison, the organizer of the World Game Protection Conference, to be held March 5-7 at Tropicana in Las Vegas, and one of the top experts in casino surveillance, sent out this article on his game protection blog in the run-up to his show. This week, the GGB News Special Report will reprint it in installments each morning. Today’s report is the final part of the series and focuses on training and paying attention to detail. .

Five Things that are Absolutely Necessary to Protect Casino Games, Part 4
  1. Competent Staff

All the other principles of game protection couldn’t be applied without competent staff. To me there’s a difference between trained staff and competent staff. Trained staff is implied. Competent staff display the knowledge and skills learned to achieve a good result on a regular basis. Doing it is more valuable to an organization than just knowing it.

There is no need to know that a roulette wheel needs to be balanced if someone doesn’t properly balance it. There is no need to know that the odds on a split are 17 to 1 if floor staff can’t work out the payout on a multiple chip payout in seconds. There is no need to know 20 ways to mark cards with invisible substances if you don’t know how to inspect the cards and verify. There is no need to know the card checking procedures when new decks arrive at the table if you don’t know what to look for.

A larger issue in the casino industry today is finding the time to train. It’s difficult running a casino that’s open for 24 hours a day and dealing with the constant revolving door of staff turnover. It’s a grind but casinos need to to find a way. It’s important in an ever increasing operational risk environment. Training provides knowledge, new skills, motivation and “call a friend” contacts to reach out and bounce odd situation scenarios around.

The challenge is only going to get harder if veteran casino people don’t share their knowledge and encourage training. As more reach retirement age the knowledge will be lost if it isn’t documented and shared. Casinos should invest time and money in trainng. Somewhere in those training classes are the leaders of our future.

Three pieces of advice for casinos:

  • Teaching staff ho to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.
  • Kowledge training is good. Competency training is valuable.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • 5 The Devil is in the Details

This four-part article is a broad overview of what I believe is absolutely necessary to operate casino games and achieve effective casino game protection in today’s casino world. I’ve only scratched the surface on the 5 principles. There is a lot more to learn.

Casino game protection is becoming more challenging because of new technology and a changing attitude in the workforce. Traditional games are being replaced with electronic games. Cashless gaming is being introduced. Sports betting is taking off. Streaming poker has taken the internet by storm. Gambling is, dare I say it, going through another explosion period. Cha-ching.

One thing is for sure, game protection professionals are going to see more technology scams.

At the same time we see seasoned veterans leaving the gaming floor and the eye in the sky. New executives are replacing old ones. Many have limited casino experience but have a zeal to try something different. Getting up to speed quickly is now the executive mantra. We don’t have time to sit through hours and hours of cheating techniques, demonstrations of obsolete 30-year old scams, ghost stories and grainy old videos. We have to be more risk-based.

My goal here was to simplify the challenging mission of protecting casino games and provide a framework for where you should focus your game protection priorities. However, to understand the 5 principles thoroughly, casino professionals need quality training on how to run a casino efficiently, regular discussion with game protection experts and reliable intelligence on the latest casino scams and game protection incidents happening around the world today. It’s a continuous process.

Willy Allison is a game protection consultant/trainer and founder of the annual World Game Protection Conference. Willy’s website is The conference website is