THE NIGHTMARES OF WORKING IN CASINO SURVEILLANCE
by Vinny DeCarlo
Vinny DeCarlo is the author ofHow to Beat Casino Surveillance – Insider’s Secrets for Card Counters. He is a retired veteran casino man with over 20 years of upper management experience. His expertise covers the pit, security, surveillance, and he even served as a General Manager. Currently, Vinny travels the states as a freelance reporter and a personal consultant to many Indian casinos. He also appeared on TV and radio shows. According to Vinny, there are two types of casino employees - those that know him, and those that claim to know him; therefore, never believe what you hear.
Note: As with all my casino surveillance stories based on my recollection of the events and first-hand accounts of incidents, the following is a true story that happened while I was working in surveillance (only I wish it never happened).
It was early Sunday morning at this particular (nameless) casino that was well known for its Champagne Brunch. The joint was busy with adults and kids, all dressed in their Sunday best, scurrying all over the place. I thought to myself (while trying to shake off the hangover I had from the previous night’s party that had just ended at 9 am), "Geez, what’s with these people going to church then to a casino to drink champagne with their kids?" (BTW: I thanked God that there wasn’t anything in the rulebooks about surveill-ing while my on-the-job attentiveness was not up to par. Really, there isn’t. It may/might be a house rule but not one state stipulates that a surveillance observer cannot be under the influence of an intoxicating agent while on duty).
In any event, I was trying to get into the swing of my job duties when suddenly I heard the "blast" over the radio. (I tripped over a chair trying to turn the volume down before my head exploded.) It was the casino security dispatch announcing the same Sunday routine. "All units, be advised ...all units, be advised ... BRUNO has entered the building and en route." (Bruno was security/ surveillance radio code for "Brinks," and "en route" meant they were on their way to the cage.) So far, so good, nothing to get excited about.
Just for the lack of nothing better to do, I picked up the Brink’s guard on one of our security cameras as he walking through the casino pushing a hand truck that was loaded with "bricks" (meaning, bills wrapped in dark plastic, sometimes millions of dollars, for transport to the bank). He was making good time crossing the arena (casino), while talking it up with one of our new casino security guards, who had been employed at this casino for about two days.
While I was watching the monitor, I accidentally poured coffee all over my pant’s leg and was biting my lip trying to stop from letting out a tyrant that would make Don Rickle blush. At that moment, I glanced at the monitor and thought to myself, "Oh my gosh….look at the size of last night’s haul. Those boxing fights sure bring in the money."
I had cleaned up the mess on my pants from the hot coffee while the pain had subsided to a steady 9. I finally sat down and advised Security Dispatch that, "Zebra 9 (Surveillance) on scene…clear blue skies from my view." Within minutes, they were walking through the atrium heading to the Grand Entrance where the Brinks truck was parked just outside the door.
I had just had my first taste of the "army-field-tasting" coffee that I just spilled on me and thought, "Why am I bothering drinking this awful stuff? It felt better when I dumped it on my leg." At that moment, I heard over the radio that "Bruno has left the building. All units be advised, BRUNO has left the building." (Saying it along with the security dispatcher almost made it sound like a Dolly Parton-Kenny Roger’s duet.)
I brought the exterior camera up on my monitor and could see our security guard and the Brinks driver getting closer to the truck, when just outside of normal view, I saw a blue Dodge truck speeding towards the porte-cochere (Valet Area). Jokingly, I announced to all units outside, "Heads Up, looks like a wild one is coming your way."
Our new security guard, who had escorted the BRUNO unit out of the casino, was kind enough to reply, "Copy sir, thanks for the informati ... Before he could finish saying "information," I heard tires screeching to a stop...
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