Anything That Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” is the universal code known as Murphy’s Law. This idea is especially important in the Surveillance Department at casinos due to the many applications. Some of these include:

  • Dining cameras
  • Cameras not recording
  • Wheel camera out of focus
  • Drive going down

The rare situations where a camera is not available for a game is the same time a patron wins a huge jackpot or someone is cheating. In many instances, the Surveillance Department is not aware of this malfunction or in worse cases, this is not reported to the proper gaming department. When this occurs it can be a hectic and unsure scenario.

Another application of Murphy’s Law occurs when cameras are not recording a specific game even though the camera was previously working fine. This will be the same time one guest steals from another guest’s chip rack. Had it been caught on tape, the player will be arrested within moments. Since the camera was not recording, there is no proof of this misdeed.

A third application occurs when the wheeled camera on a Roulette table is out of focus and the dealer mismarks a number with all six players placing multiple wagers around the board. This will cause chaos amongst those players that have won but there is no recorded proof to substantiate this claim.

The final instance occurs when there is an equipment failure at the cashout window. At this same time, a customer will question a specific cash-out as being incorrect. If the equipment is down, there is again, no way to validate the claim by the customer.

This is a phenomenon that occurs in most businesses. The best way to manage these situations is to maintain a high attention to detail and continue to do your job. Also, ensure all cameras are focused in the correct spots and recording. Additionally, never focus game cameras on inactive areas of the casino. Instead, keep all active areas covered by cameras.

If there is an equipment issue, immediately report it to technical services so it can be fixed. While waiting, move other cameras to observe the area and notify management in the uncovered area so they can shut the games down. If these tasks are not completed, they will eventually come back against you.

Cameras in casinos are some of the most important pieces of equipment to verify wins, observe cheats and ensure all transactions are running smoothly. If they break and are not fixed promptly, it is common for Murphy’s Law to come into play and make situations much worse than necessary.