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Casino Security and Gaming Surveillance

Casino Security and Gaming Surveillance. By Derk J. Boss and Alan W. Zajic; published by Taylor & Francis Group/CRC Press; available from ASIS, item #1919, 703/519-6200,; 322 pages; $79 (ASIS members), $87 (nonmembers).

In this new work, coauthors Derk Boss and Alan Zajic combine more than 58 years’ experience protecting gaming and related industries to fill a void in the security literature of this unique sector.

The breadth of topics covered in the text is quite expansive. As Boss and Zajic explain, the mission of gaming surveillance is more complex than just watching monitors. The book’s first section focuses on the surveillance side of gaming through camera placement and documentation. The second defines physical security elements such as security officer conduct and responsibilities, patrols, escorts, crimes, incidents, detainments, and overall casino security management. Throughout, the authors illustrate examples of the integration of surveillance and physical security.

Many of the pointers are targeted to casinos but are readily adaptable to other security environments. For instance, the protocol for positioning multiple cameras for complete contextual and digital documentation of an incident could be applied to banking, retail, and numerous other risk environments. Not all recommendations, however, are applicable in all jurisdictions, and the authors stress the importance of working with state and local agencies to achieve effective and harmonious solutions.

Some sections are written in the third person and others in the first person. The latter is unusual in a textbook, but it works, because it just highlights that the reader is getting firsthand lessons from true practitioners.

The authors share not only their experiences but also the underlying thought processes. Best practices and case histories are included to highlight real-life incidents and proactive activities. The book is carefully written so as not to become a how-to manual for those desiring to defeat gaming countermeasures.

Informative tables and illustrations are provided to enhance presentation of data. The appendix contains sample forms, incident process flowcharts, food and beverage scams and indicators, and a means to evaluate blackjack play. Short reference lists can be found at the end of some chapters; however, there are no endnotes nor is there a bibliography. A few minor editorial changes throughout the book could improve consistency.

Given the lack of literature on casino security and gaming surveillance, this book fills a niche and is recommended for the protection professional with interests in this specialty area. It would also make an excellent textbook for college and university courses addressing security considerations and surveillance operations in casino facilities.

Reviewer: Paul D. Barnard, CPP, CISM (Certified Information Security Manager), is a security manager for the Department of Defense. He is a member of ASIS International. (The opinion expressed is solely that of the reviewer and does not imply a view of the U.S. government or any other organization.)