Following The Surveillance Hierarchy

Hierarchies are found in all organizations within all business sectors. They consist of your supervisor and direct reports. A well-defined hierarchy is better for morale, the creation of company culture, efficiency, and productivity. Within a standard hierarchy, orders come from the top down when correctly routed.
Within the surveillance room at a casino, hierarchies are extremely important.
One common example of a chain of command in a casino is:

1) Surveillance Investigator reports to:
2) Surveillance Supervisor who reports to:
3) Surveillance Director who reports to:
4) General Manager

Also reporting into the General Manager is:

1) Casino Manager
2) Slots Director
3) Security Director

Reporting into the previous three are:

1) Casino Shift Manager
2) Slots Shift Manager
3) Table Games Manager

Within the surveillance room there are two primary types of hierarchies:

  • Those within the surveillance room
  • All other departments

There is one simple rule within the surveillance room: no one outside of the surveillance department hierarchy demands orders from the surveillance room staff. Instead, the requests must pass through the proper chain of command. There are certain actions that must be approved by the Surveillance Director. This includes the release of original recordings, composite recordings, special observations, and information.
Internal matters relating to personnel issues must also be distributed through the surveillance hierarchy starting with the Director. These instances include ideas, complaints, suggestions, and personnel change. For example, the ideal process for an investigator to give an idea to the Director is for them to write it down, give it to the Supervisor who will then give it to the Director. Verbal suggestions are not the route to take as they often are forgotten or overlooked.

Unfortunately, within this type of hierarchy, the Supervisor can easily present the suggestion as his own. Although unfair and deceitful, this type of behavior does occur and when discovered by others, greatly diminishes the Supervisor’s credibility and respect.

It is always important to know the chain of command within other departments. This will help you be more productive, get the answers needed in a reasonable amount of time, and generate favors
Like any type of business, it is important to follow the chains of command within the surveillance room. Those that cannot conform do not last long in their role. A clearly defined hierarchy improves communication, efficiency, productivity and builds excellent reports among many different departments.

Gaming Regulations In Missouri

Missouri is one of the newest states in the United States to offer gambling within its borders. Due to legal disputes over the years, Missouri has shown extremely slow growth within the gaming industry. Finally, in 1995 Missouri lawmakers approved riverboats as opposed to land-based gambling establishments.

The Missouri Gaming Commission

Riverboat gaming legislation also created the Missouri Gaming Commission to oversee all gambling actions. This new commission absorbed the old Missouri Horse Racing Commission to supervise any racing activities. Ironically horse racing is legal in Missouri; however, there are not any horse tracks.
The Missouri Gaming Commission consists of five board members that serve no more than two staggered terms for three years. The commission members are elected by the Governor and verified by the Senate as a form of checks and balances. The makeup of the Commission is quite similar to other Mississippi River states that offer riverboat gaming.

The Tax Structure

Also similar to other states is the tax structure. The State of Missouri collects a $2 per person admissions tax for each individual that steps onto a gaming vessel. Also, they collect a 20 percent tax on all adjusted gross revenues made by the riverboat operating company.

Interesting Laws

One Missouri law states that parents of a minor that engages in gambling may recover their losses. This indicates that if a minor lose their parent’s money or property the parent can sue the gaming operator to recover the losses.

Another interesting law is regarding stakeholder liabilities. Missouri law states that each stakeholder that receives money or property is liable to the party that placed the wager, before the transaction. The delivery of money or property to the winner is not a defense in court in the instance where the losing party seeks recovery. After the transaction or bet has been placed, the stakeholder holds no responsibility to the bettor.

Missouri has significantly similar gaming laws as other Mississippi River states that provide riverboat gaming. Missouri has modeled its gambling law structure after modern industry leaders like Iowa, Illinois, and Louisiana, although there are a few differences in the laws and amendments enacted.
In the future perhaps Missouri will add horse racetracks to the state which will expand taxes collected and make the Missouri Gaming Commission larger, with additional responsibility. This will create a whole new group of clientele in which to target horserace gambling.

Instinct Is Your Best Tool

The most valuable tool a security officer or surveillance operator can have is excellent observational ability mixed with instinct. Simply put, they act when they suspect something is not right. In the surveillance industry, this is known as JDLR or “just don’t look right.”

The Umbrella Of JDLR

JDLR encompasses all the knowledge the observer has acquired from experience over the years. This typically includes experience observing others, the actual activity of observation at the casino, shopping malls, or anywhere with crowds of people, and wraps it into a large program that can immediately identify an issue.

The Casino Business

In the casino industry, employees tend to become comfortable and lose their attention to detail. Sharp observers tend to notice little things that are out of the ordinary. For instance, the five o’clock shadow of a woman sitting next to a whale or the player that is continually looking at the camera.

In many cases, these little oddities are nothing at all and have a simple explanation. However, the observer with JDLR notes these differences and looks a little further into the situation. Upon further investigation, they find the situation has a simple explanation and they move on. However, every so often the observer’s instinct is correct and they unveil the true identity or agenda of the individual in question.

Learned Skills

An occupation that requires repetitive motion consistently will develop a comfort zone where they do not have to think about the routine, it just occurs. For instance, a veteran dealer hesitating in the middle of a hand or dropping chips. This is a clear sign that dealer is thinking about their emotions and should be observed further. Perhaps they are having a bad day or perhaps they are stealing from the house.

A Normal Environment

One thing sharp observers learn is what a normal environment on the casino floor consists of. That helps them easily identify actions that just don’t look right and need further investigation.
Experience in the surveillance industry is like gold. The longer you have been there, the more you learn the actions of your guests and know and how to act accordingly. There are so many tricks and cheats that may not be detected by a new employee that a veteran can spot from a mile away. In surveillance, you need a sharp eye, proper training, and good experience to catch the perpetrators.