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Casino Surveillance Jobs Exposed! Watching the Public Can Be Stressful Work.

Updated on July 21, 2018
David Warren profile image

David Warren worked in multiple Northern Nevada casinos from 2001 until 2018. Surveillance, engineering, IT, AV and technical services.

Casino Security and Surveillance, The Eye in the Sky

  • I have done an extensive amount of work installing and maintaining security and surveillance equipment in Northern Nevada. I have also worked as a senior surveillance observer. I have worked “the room”, “sky”, whatever you may choose to call it at several casino properties in Northern Nevada.
  • With few exceptions none of them likely compare to the preconceived notions you may have. Paul Newman and shows such as "Las Vegas", if realistic would be a dream come true for the properties I have worked at.
  • Typically the monitor rooms are small, dark, and cramped. Miles of wiring enter these rooms and everything can appear to be a work in process as bundles of jumbled wires are attached to racks of RAIDS as well as a MATRIX.
  • When I first entered this line of work "the room" had two walls of shelving which held what appeared to be every brand of VCR ever produced. There was a large cardboard box full of remotes for the exciting power outages that are quite common in Northern Nevada.


Repair bench
Repair bench

The Casino Work Environment

  • Because surveillance departments are non-revenue producers, procuring funds for cutting edge technology and equipment is difficult at best. The average employees in this field are of higher than average intelligence but as with other casino positions the pay is far below the required qualifications for the employees.
  • Stress levels are very high as mistakes cannot be tolerated. The idea that “they just sit and watch monitors” is far from the truth. The quarters are cramped and they work alone more often than not. You may find yourself counting cards simultaneously on multiple players, providing video coverage for security as they escort a guest off the property, and doing an employee evaluation all at the same time. Feast or famine you never know what each shift will have in store. The paperwork is endless. With such a tremendous amount of responsibility this occupation really defines the term multitasking.
  • This is not to say you could easily cheat any casino. Regardless of whether you are being individually monitored, anything you do from the time you enter a casino’s door until you leave can easily be reviewed later.
  • The advantages of this occupation are that it will keep your mind sharp and continually present new challenges. Learning the numerous games and methods of card counting and slot cheating are indeed interesting. Although it would not be ethical to share any individual experiences on this site I can tell you there is no shortage of writing material derived from observing both casino employees and the customers of such establishments.

Gambling Addiction

  • There is unfortunately a disturbing undertone as gambling ruins so many lives. It is shocking to see how many employees will return to these same casinos when they are off shift to “invest” their paychecks back into the same businesses they work for. I've seen parents leave their children, in strollers, at gaming floor entrances while they feed slot machines and order drinks seemingly oblivious to their surroundings. In some cases they may have sent older unsupervised children to arcades, the equivalent of putting an ad on craigslist; “Wanted, pedophiles’ to watch my child”.
  • Gambling, strictly as a form of entertainment, is not inherently bad. There are great shows, concerts, restaurants, and abundant nightlife. The purpose of this article is not to undermine the casino industry. Northern Nevada has much to offer and is a great place for weekend getaways. Times have changed everywhere, so while you are out on the town you should always be aware of your surroundings.

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    • David Warren profile imageAUTHOR

      David Warren 

      10 months ago from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta

      Aurelio, yes, I have seen some individuals lose their jobs over missed events. Usually only warnings but occasionally when a lot of currency is lost some employee or department manager must take the fall for it.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      10 months ago from Orange County, CA

      I could never do this job. I'd be afraid of missing something and unlike missing an apostrophe in an article, which has no consequence, not noticing something in this job could cost plenty of money for my employer.

    • David Warren profile imageAUTHOR

      David Warren 

      7 years ago from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta

      DDE,

      Thank you for reading! I've never been to Croatia. Are table games popular there or mainly slots?

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Most interesting gambling should be taken lightly I have been to many casinos and I now more of the idea of what goes on the inside.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My best friend worked as a dealer in Carson City for a number of years. I mention that because the amount of things you did not say, and could not say, would be a mountain if stacked on top of each other. :) I am quite certain you have a book or ten in your about this industry. Thanks for a fascinating, inside look at this industry.

    • David Warren profile imageAUTHOR

      David Warren 

      8 years ago from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta

      Thank you for commenting! I certainly relate to your feelings about social networking. Your timing is ironic, I just recently deleted my Facebook account after deciding the negative side out weighed the positive.

    • Katharella profile image

      Katharella 

      8 years ago from Lost in America

      I've actually already written a response to another hub of yours, but figured, I can get through just these 10, then come back and paste my response I have saved for the other one I really want to respond to, then onto the one I REALLY want to respond to the most I will save for last as I think it will help not only keeping you interested in keeping writing but also to keep your spirits up considering everything you have been through! Please bear with me, as I try to never leave a stone unturned!

      I will warn you ahead of time, although now I don't think it will matter as you seem to be eager to read what people have to say! So I'm going to comment here, paste my next then I will hit the big one with a lot of information, feelings, and dyer respect for what you've been through!

      But for this hub in particular:

      I have often deemed the internet, and unmonitored children, as you have here about casino's, that you're basically putting them in a crowded stadium full of unknown people and saying "baby sit my child while I... do laundry, watch my daily soap opera, run to the MAILBOX.. chat on the phone. etc."

      I was the type of mom, who didn't care that my 10 year old son didn't want to hold mom's hand while I window shopped at the mall. I said he was one step short of being put on a leash like a pet! (lol) but he would not go out shopping with his friends at the mall until I felt he was fast and strong enough to get himself to safety and if that meant jumping behind a stores counter with the clerk and drawing attention, if that's what it'll take to stay alive!

      I'm that women some women hate! Because I've actually said "I can't believe you let you won't let your child walk to the bus stop in the morning with a group of friends, but you have no problem letting them be on facebook, posting photographs of themselves with very limited clothing on, along with the name of their school, their REAL full name, and think they'll be just fine because you're in the next room." I'M SHOCKED. When I get back a "I trust my child".... OOOOOOK! Sure, I'm glad, but would you trust your 13yr old girl getting an instant message from someone claiming to be a school friend, only to have her missing from her backyard when you think she's only going out to feed the dogs?"

      I'M THE CRAZY ONE HERE! Regardless the fact I say you can have all the trust in the world that she wouldn't leave her trusted home, but WHAT ABOUT THIS PERSON WE DON'T KNOW WHO KNOWS WHERE SHE ATTENDS SCHOOL AND KNOWS WHAT TIME LUNCH IS, and when she doesn't return home from school, it won't have a thing in the world to do with trusting HER when she's been overpowered by a man 10 times her strength and speed, with the right things to muffle her cries and render her unconscious in the blink of an eye! It has nothing to do with trust on her part! Because of her way of thinking, her older daughter of 17 was raped, and she did not ONE THING to try to find out WHO the person was, but she was supposedly at a friendly house party! Never did she check to see if parents were there to see that she safely watched over, nor did she teach her not to go into a bedroom with a stranger. As she did and he quickly locked the door and her innocence was taken forever. Now she spends her days drunk, overeats, and stays with an boyfriend who feeds her habits.

      These parents leave me shaken! My trust factor in others is nil, and I moved away from the city because being in the middle of nowhere NC surrounded by Military bases, I feel more safe as a single woman until my fiance' gets transported with his business here. (we've known each other 30 years, no, he is not an internet dating decision, there is a story, but it's for another time, but my first phone call of the morning was to check on me, and to wish our day's well!:)

    • David Warren profile imageAUTHOR

      David Warren 

      8 years ago from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta

      Thank You! Yes, it is very sad to see people, often without a great deal of resources to start with, fall into that abyss. They win once and then spend years chasing that win.

    • magnoliazz profile image

      magnoliazz 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Vegas was built with losers money. The worst thing that can happen to someone in Vegas is to win money, because then they will be hooked. They will remember that win, and they will think that somehow they are special and they are going to win BIG. Of course the odds are against them, but that does not seem to matter.

      Its sad, espcially when people lose what little money they have in this economic downturn.

      Another great hub!

    • David Warren profile imageAUTHOR

      David Warren 

      8 years ago from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta

      Happy to be of assistance! Thank you, if you have any questions let me know.

    • profile image

      Ghost32 

      8 years ago

      This is more than I knew--having seen casino surveillance only from the business end of the shiny black eye in the sky.

      Voted Up and Stuff.

      You even triggered a spark in between my ear bones; need to nurse that thing into a Hub-makin' flame now....

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