Sunday, December 18, 2005

Security, casino style

The shot included here is a photo of a small sampling of the slot machines available at the Wild Wild West in Atlantic City. Hanging out here, trying to track down my wife among the hundreds of other gamblers, got me thinking. Thinking about security, specifically.

Take bank security. A big aspect of that is intimidation. Big vault doors. Armed men standing around. Tellers behind thick walls. Cameras in obvious use. The whole experience when you walk into a bank just says: "don't try anything, we are ready for you."

A casino is 100% opposite. Players stand a few feet away from stacks of chips. I've never seen an armed guard or camera keeping an eye on me. I walked around using my sidekick and had a laptop on my shoulder, yet nobody seemed to care. The whole experience says: lets have fun, and you can easily win all this money.

It's almost like they want you to feel as though they don't have much security at the casino at all. Seems like it wouldn't be that tricky to rig up a card counting system or something like that (not that *I* would ever consider doing so).

Yet, I'm pretty sure that there's no place more secure than a casino. That I am no doubt being watched at all times, and that while it may look like I could grab a stack of chips and run, I probably wouldn't make it 3 feet.

It seems to me that website developers need to be thinking like casinos. How can they give the illusion that they are relaxed and fun places to be, yet provide bullet proof security.

On the other hand, a computer network should be like a bank. Intimidation all the way.

So, I wonder how I could learn about casino security? That is without having my library card records siezed and my phone tapped. Seems like you would get some good best practices.


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