Book Review: Casino Security
The Comprehensive Guide to Casino Security. By Anthony V. DiSalvatore, CPP, PCI, PSP. Cognella Academic Publishing;cognella.com; 454 pages; $99.95.
Security management strategies vary from city to city and from establishment to establishment. They also evolve over time. While it isn’t strictly a security management title, The Comprehensive Guide to Casino Security offers many examples that apply to any industry.
Although the specifics of casino security are referenced throughout the book, the author sometimes writes in generalities. For example, in his opening chapter he discusses customer service, safety committees, risk management, and valet parking—all of which can apply to most businesses with a security department.
Communication in any industry—especially in the security industry—is vital to providing information to employees, visitors, customers, management, and the media. Author Anthony DiSalvatore writes that the security team must “effectively communicate with patrons, guests, and employees in a professional, courteous manner by exhibiting good manners and following the rules of etiquette.” However, he does not specify what those rules of etiquette are.
Chapter 3 covers casino standard operating procedures, many of which are critical to security management, not just casino security.
In chapters that specifically pertain to the casino industry, DiSalvatore captures the reader’s attention. In “Know Your Money,” “Determine How Your Casino is Unique,” “Casino Operations Center,” and “Investigations,” DiSalvatore provides insight into the casino industry and targets his intended audience. For example, he discusses the importance of the fire command center and illustrates with lessons learned from the MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas in 1980.
DiSalvatore’s background and knowledge of the casino industry are broad and when he discusses specific methodologies within the casino industry, his experience is evident. The book is divided into 10 chapters plus a preface, appendices, and review questions with answers.
Individuals who are new to the casino or gaming industry will find this book useful for its valuable information and strategies. Practitioners with years of experience in the casino or gaming industry may find the book too general.
Reviewer: Kevin Cassidy is a professor in the Security, Fire, and Emergency Management Department at John Jay College. He is a member of ASIS.