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CASINO OCT17 P_Layout 1 20/10/2017 08:16 Page 1


STATESIDE STATESIDE


Stateside


Sharon Harris asks what can be learned from recent events in Las Vegas


Sharon Harris looks at the incredible growth of legalized sports betting in North America, among other things…


AI


Wynn called Las Vegas a “target rich” environment in November 2015 and recruited top law enforcement and military


Maoz Barda/Adobe Stock


consultants to formulate a security plan


re you the oldest, youngest or middle child in your family? Being the youngest has its advantages since things come to them easier and earlier. My sister Linda, four years older, got her


ears pierced at 16… I was 12. Her first real date was at 15… My first movie date was at 13. She received our grandparents’ used car at 17; I was 16. Linda stayed home for college in Philadelphia… I went 100 miles towards New York City.


t was unimaginable that on the very week our global gaming industry converged on Las Vegas for G2E, the unthinkable could happen. As many had already arrived, or were arriving, a madman shattered the Las Vegas allure on October 1.


While 22,000 were enjoying an outdoor concert


at the chic Mandalay Bay, shots peppered the crowd from the 32nd floor. Within minutes, dozens lay dead and hundreds were wounded, some with lifetime injuries.


With tens of thousands of G2E attendees in town, a


large group probably stayed at the Mandalay Bay. How does one react or prepare for this type of nightmare?


Over time, we have learned this mass shooter, who


killed himself rather than be caught, methodically planned every detail of the carnage. A rich, heavy gambler, he did not fit any “standard“ profile.


Ironically, my You get the picture. Objections usually evaporate


after the first action. That trend continues nationwide with legalized sports betting. After years of court battles, it seems that another state says yes to sports betting every month. Inconceivable just three years ago, more than half of


all states have or will soon allow sports betting. American Gaming Association (AGA) CEO/President Bill Miller claims at least 92 million Americans live in legalized sports betting states.


Florida is perhaps one of the most stunning examples


so far. On April 23, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new 74-page, 30-year compact agreement with the Seminole Tribe. The US Secretary of the Interior and the Florida State Legislature must now approve it. The Legislature’s president has requested a mid-May session to fast-track passage.


Casino International article in September‘s G2E issue specifically focused on casino crimes. Ex-FBI agent Tom Raftery, one quoted source, warned that many within the gaming industry have not adequately addressed possible onsite terrorism.


Tragically, the


Mandalay Bay learned otherwise and has now hired a


8 MAY 2021 8 OCTOBER 2017 ateside


Everyone wins in this sweetheart deal, worth $2.5 billion to Florida within five years and $6 billion through 2030. In return, the Seminoles may expand their Florida Hard Rock casinos, enjoy exclusive craps and roulette rights and control statewide sports betting within their properties. The Tribe will also have an exclusive revenue-sharing partnership with South Florida’s pari-mutuel operations and tracks that offer sports betting. The Seminoles, North America’s first Indian Tribe to open a high-stakes bingo hall and casino in 1979, are not novices. They set the course for subsequent Indian gaming. Seminole Gaming now manages seven Florida casino locations. Even Florida Democrats praise the deal. In our


New York crisis management public relations firm. The lawsuits against them are just beginning to determine possible negligence by security personnel.


It is long overdue for casinos to incorporate


terrorism preparedness into employee training. This killer brought guns into his hotel suite and installed cameras that monitored his room and the hallway. He then used heavy-duty hammers to smash the windows and take aim. Not that guests’ luggage or drawers be searched, but dozens of weapons take up a lot of space.


Many question the relative ease in getting such an


contentious political climate, everyone applauds how both sides of the negotiation table exhibited successful leadership skills. The Seminoles played a key role, but so did management, led by Hard Rock International Chairman/ Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen. Growing up near Atlantic City, Allen lived five minutes from my house and began working in casinos in 1979. Allen joined the Seminoles in 2001, after stints with the


arsenal to his suite. Conditions will certainly change since the bar altering our very behavior keeps shifting. So far, gaming has pretty much escaped these events, which is amazing considering these 24- hour businesses have dozens of open doors and entry points that never close.


Trump organization, Mohegan Sun and the Atlantis in the Bahamas. Not a bad career journey for a Jersey boy. His accomplishments at the helm of Hard Rock’s growth


have been noticed. The Seminole Hard Rock organization recently earned recognition as the 2021 US Best Managed Company, a first for a privately-owned gaming organization. Targeting more than 500 potential US companies, 70


finalists from 49 companies were selected. Overall, the Best Managed Companies program celebrates private companies with minimum annual revenues of $250 million. They undergo a rigorous, independent process and each is evaluated in four key management areas: strategy, execution, culture, and financials. Because last year was unique, the criteria evaluated those companies that demonstrated “excellence in strategic planning and execution, a commitment to their people and fostering a dynamic, resilient culture, as well as strong financials, all while facing the uncertainty of


Image: Fannyes/Adobe Stock


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