Lessons from Las Vegas

Following the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, hotel and casino establishments are reviewing their security protocols. What happened in Las Vegas was the unexpected: a single white male shooter was able to sneak through the elaborate system of Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay Casino’s security and inflict maximum damage. In June, a lone gunman in the Philippines attacked Resorts World in Manila with bullets and fire.
Macau’s gaming oversight body and Judiciary Police met with the six gaming concessionaires on October 11 to ensure that security measures and crisis communication had been strengthened in Macau. On Monday, a press release was issued regarding the outcome of the meeting, stating: ‘Judiciary Police have suggested that in collaboration with the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau a simulation of attacks on the casinos should be conducted in the short term . . . All the casino representatives have agreed to the proposal of conducting a drill, and will soon liaise with Judiciary Police regarding the details.’
Paulo Martins Chan, head of the region’s Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ), reported that the six concessionaires are continuing to adopt security measures, such as the installation of metal detectors in arches of casino entrances and, until their completion, portable metal detectors would be used.
Also, included in the increased measures were that some of the six casino operators were initiating intensive physical training, crisis management and identification of suspicious persons for some of the frontline casino workers. Other casinos are planning to increase the number of security personnel.
Chau Wai Kuong, Director of Macau’s Judiciary Police, indicated in Monday’s statement that Macau had a “relatively lower” risk of attack, but should not be complacent. Increased preventative measures, such as metal detectors, would help prevent potential crimes. Following the Nevada attack, Las Vegas Wynn casinos immediately implemented the use of handheld metal detectors to scan luggage. It has yet to be seen if Macau casinos will begin this practice but the use of metal detectors prior to entering the gaming areas of casinos has been used in Macau for some time.
The greatest lesson to be learned from both the Las Vegas and Manila attacks are that a single individual can cause mass terror and damage and possibly go undetected. Perhaps these situations were unique but now we learn, adapt, and create stronger plans.