The surveillance department is a mystery to those outside it. And it should be. There really isn’t any reason why most employees and guests need to know
anything about how surveillance operates.

On the other hand, there are key individuals or departments that should have a basic understanding of what surveillance does, how they do it, and what they need to do it. Such individuals are usually the General Manager, Human Resources specifically, but normally will include the executive team as a whole. It is these individuals representing their respective departments that support the surveillance program by providing the information we feed upon to do our job.

In this day and age surveillance doesn’t or shouldn’t work in the dark anymore. It isn’t necessary to work by random selection. We are far more effective when we know where to go and what to look for. If you can provide your surveillance team with that type of information and business intelligence, you are well on the way to helping them be successful.

A successful surveillance department means that losses in all areas of the property are reduced to a minimum, the casino wins as expected, and crime and civil suits are prevented, defended vigorously, or settled quickly based on informed decision making. Something every property should strive for.

To attain this level, you need to know that surveillance needs certain things to perform at a top-level which means proactively. A proactive surveillance department doesn’t depend on the random observation of the casino floor; a proactive room knows already, for the most part, what we should be looking for.

A proactive surveillance room will:

  1. From the previous day, review all of the player’s wins of a certain amount or more from all gaming departments to ensure the wins were legitimate and who won the money.
  2. Review the daily gaming reports to locate losing games, game types or slot machines or banks of machines.
  3. During live play analyze certain players to determine the threat level to the property. These players are identified by pre-defined parameters such as: wagering one hundred dollars or more, buy in amounts, winning more than a specified level, etc.
  4. Review Points of Sales for key transactions such as Voids, No Sales, Sign In and Outs, and canceled sales, etc., to locate the illicit activity.
  5. Monitor slot areas for thieves and get them off the property before they rip off a guest.
  6. Conduct video audits of key areas and transactions to locate developing or active theft and fraud.

The above is just a few of the processes that should do each day. When working from data and information surveillance can often and should locate an issue and begin their observation before anyone else even knows there’s a problem.

A good surveillance room needs the information to succeed. Property executives by providing access to business information already developed and used by themselves to surveillance will find themselves and their departments better protected and served.

Demystifying what surveillance needs from you and putting them to work intelligently with hard facts and information will end up demystifying where your money went to.