After 21 Hold-ups Time For ARMED Security ???


October 2, 2003, 03:58 PM
After 21 hold-ups, Mississippi gaming officials are PONDERING putting ARMED security at their casinos!

Here is the story:

There's more than money at stake here

Ensuring the safety of casino patrons should be paramount

Twenty-one should be a magic number when it comes to gambling. And it is — at the blackjack table. But there's no magic in 21 when it comes to crime, and that's how many robberies had been reported this year at Mississippi casinos before the Gaming Commission began considering extraordinary steps to stop the bandits.

Robbers have struck from Tunica to the Gulf Coast. And in a state that boasts the nation's third largest gaming market, that's a big problem. After the 21st robbery, Len Blackwell, chairman of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, acknowledged the panel might have to station armed guards at the state's gambling establishments.

"No matter how good law enforcement is locally, we owe it to the guests who come to Mississippi to provide as safe an environment as we can," Blackwell said last week after three masked men held up a teller at Fitzgeralds in Tunica on Friday morning.

While the casinos have security officers, the guards don't carry weapons. The robbers, on the other hand, were armed with handguns and took advantage of the guards' defenselessness by forcing one to lead them to the teller's cage.

On Tuesday night, the Grand Casino in Tunica became the 22nd victim when a woman carrying a package she identified as a bomb held up a teller, left the package and escaped with an undetermined amount of cash. The "bomb" turned out to be an empty honey-bun box, but the robbery shut down the casino for hours and forced authorities to bring in a bomb squad.

So far, Greenville has been lucky. Casinos here have not reported any armed robberies.

But there have been cases of patrons being robbed in parking areas after leaving the gaming houses. For example, in July, 81-year-old Walter Lanier of Hamburg, Ark., was robbed and stabbed to death in his vehicle on the levee in front of one of the casinos.

Just Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that Las Vegas-based Harrah's Entertainment Inc., which operates casinos in Mississippi, says 432,000 Arkansans stopped at an out-of-state casino at least once in 2002, accounting for 2.2 million visits.

With Arkansas just across a bridge from us, that means at least some of them frequented Greenville casinos. Can we keep them coming if they have reason to fear for their safety?

In a state that's hurting financially, Mississippi gaming brought in $329 million in tax revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30. And love gaming, or hate it, the state can't afford to lose that source of income. Mississippi and its gaming cities and counties have grown dependent on that income, but gaming patrons can't be too comfortable knowing we're averaging more than two casino robberies a month.

Finally, after more than two score robberies, the state is taking notice.

Blackwell has said he will urge Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to name a task force to recommend steps that could be taken at the casinos.

"Different minds need to be working on this," Blackwell said. "It might make sense to form a multi-agency task force of people in the gaming industry, government and law enforcement to get something done."

And while the state's casinos have avoided hiring their own armed security guards because, as Blackwell noted, of the fear customers could be injured in a shootout, he said the Gaming Commission wasn't ruling them out.

Would armed guards help?

We don't know the answer. But we have to do something, so it's worth trying with a few provisos. Before we put guns in guards' hands, we must ensure that they know how — and when — to use a weapon. After all, the whole point is safety.

:rolleyes: :what: :rolleyes:

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October 2, 2003, 04:06 PM
I say give the security guards the same safety training and orientation given to LEO and post warning signs that ARMED security guards are on duty. Should cut down on liability and give scumbag robbers a second thought.

Black Snowman
October 2, 2003, 04:52 PM
In MO the Gaming Commission is also the Highway Patrol. Every casino always has at least a couple armed patrol officers there. They are obviously not omni-present but it does keep outright theft and the brandishing of weapons to a minimum (I used to work a Harrah's Casino in NKC, MO).

October 2, 2003, 05:14 PM
Finally, after more than two score robberies, the state is taking notice
Umm... A score is 20. There have been 21 incidents. Two score?

Standing Wolf
October 2, 2003, 06:19 PM
...began considering extraordinary steps to stop the bandits...

What's "extraordinary" about posting armed security people?

A score is 20. There have been 21 incidents. Two score?

Maybe it's a special gambling industry score.

October 2, 2003, 07:49 PM
Down here in my neck of the woods, at least 10% of the staff in the licensed casinos carry guns. So far, no robbery attempts as well. Possibly the scumbags decided it was safer to rob other establishments....

October 2, 2003, 08:26 PM
Considering that a casino here in LV was sued by one of the more and more common total idiots who's baby at the table spilt coffe on her, complaining that it was too hot (you also can sue if it's too cold!) got a nice out of court settlement of $ 80,000.00, what would happen if one of the patrons of a casino got hurt in a shootout???

Heared the newest about casinos? Harrah's in Loughlin didn't want to have the biker gang meetings in their premises. They were overruled by a court. The gangs came in, shoot at each other, 3 left dead, AND NOW Harrah's IS SUED BY THE GANGS FOR NOT PROVIDING ENOUGH SECURITY.

It's not the casino, it's our legal system that obviously support every rediculous lawsuit.

Common sense has left the country, given place for "fhhheeeelings".

I really can't get rid of the thought, that a lot of people try to execute the USA as fast as they can.

October 2, 2003, 08:35 PM
By the way, I know definitely that guards of some casinos have guns, but are not allowed to load them, because of liability for... you know.

Reminds me of the assault on USS Cole, the pickets had rifles, but no ammo in there, Clinton forbad that (is it true or a remote myth?)

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