As the FBI has said in the past, legalized gambling of some form exists nearly everywhere in the world. Over the past 25 years, gambling has become a booming business, especially in the United States. Forty out of the 50 U.S. states have some form of gambling. There is gambling at casinos, horse tracks and dog tracks, racinos, tribal casinos, and cruise ship casinos. Experts have estimated that gambling in the United States is a multibillion-dollar business. That means that casinos are targets for all sorts of crime.
One of those crimes includes armed robbery. The FBI is currently seeking the identity of a person who robbed a gambling and bingo hall in Washington state. In reality, the alleged thief has committed two robberies within a month of each other.
The Problem with Casinos
According to the FBI, U.S. casinos represent a large problem for the country’s police forces to handle. They could be a bigger problem than banks. Most banks have very few customers at the time of a robbery. Casinos, on the other hand, have thousands of customers milling around at a time. This makes it easy for perpetrators to get away.
In addition, like banks, casinos, because of the nature of the business, have huge stashes of cash. Since the advent of gambling in Las Vegas after World War II, casinos have been held up dozens of times. They have lost millions of dollars. The authorities have caught many of the criminals. Others, such as the man who made off with $3 million in an armored car, have never been found.
The first crime occurred in late July in the early evening at a bingo and slots hall in Fife, Wash. A man walked into the cash counting locations and demanded all the money. He threatened the teller with a gun. However, he did not actually show a gun. He told the teller to put the cash in an envelope, which she did, and then left the location.
The second crime occurred in mid-August. A male walked into a different casino in Des Moines, Wash., and handed a worker a note. Again, the criminal said he had a gun and he would shoot anyone who stood in his way. In both cases, the suspect was wearing the same disguise. He wore a beige or tan long-sleeved polo shirt, jeans, a white baseball cap, gloves, eyeglasses, and a long wig. Police agencies think the last two items on the list might be part of a disguise. In all, authorities estimate that the suspect got away with at least $12,000 in cash.
The Power of Surveillance
One way that the casinos work to be as safe as possible is through the use of surveillance cameras. These cameras, placed throughout the casinos, can capture the image of a suspect. All casinos have a security team that constantly monitors the television screens. The team also observes some of the gamers to determine their intentions. Surveillance cameras pick up more than theft. They may also protect the casinos from false claims and scams. These scams could involve cash transactions, money laundering, drug use, and theft by casino employees.
Surveillance cameras now include the latest in facial-recognition technology. They work best when people are observant and vigilant within the casino security field. In the case of these two most recent robberies, police will probably catch the man, even in disguise. The chances of him begin able to get away from two casino armed robberies has been noted to be less than 20 percent. That doesn’t leave him a whole lot of time to spend the money.
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