Don't Expect to See Major Security Changes at Casinos Following Las Vegas Shooting
Terence Cullen | New York Daily News | October 11, 2017 3:24pm
Oct. 10--As new details about the deadly Las Vegas shooting emerge, hotels and casino properties continue to grapple with how to deal with security and guests who are a potential threat.
Gunman Stephen Paddock shot security guard Jesus Campos in the leg before he killed at least 58 concert goers from his Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino hotel room, police said Monday night.
Earlier, authorities said Campos was shot after the melee and his injury perhaps saved the life of a maintenance worker also on the 32nd floor.
"I've been racking my brain. If that were my hotel, what would I have done differently," said Dick Hudak, a retired FBI agent and former head of worldwide security for Sheraton. "I don't know if I would do anything different."
"I don't know how much that timeline change mattered, except for the fact that apparently there was a maintenance worker up on that floor who could've been shot if the security worker didn't do what he did," he added.
Because the Las Vegas shooting was a unique situation -- a high-roller with a security camera and arsenal in his room -- it's unlikely to see major physical changes within hotels around the world, experts said.
But that doesn't mean major brands won't ramp up staff efforts to watch out for odd behavior coming from guests.
"They need a little bit to step up the training of the staff. How to be observant of a guest," said George Taylor, vice president of global operations for iJet International, which audits hotel security.
Staff might now have to keep a closer eye on closed-circuit televisions, as well as watching what guests are bringing in and out of the room, Taylor continued.
He pointed to the 23 weapons Paddock is believed to have smuggled into the room through 10 suitcases.
"It's clear this person had to make multiple trips with baggage up there," Taylor said. "I would think that may be something that's wanted to be paid attention to."
Hudak, who also worked for Loews Corporation and now runs Resorts Security Consulting, added his security staff would meet monthly with bellhops, housekeeping, valets and other hotel workers for five minutes to go over security protocols.
"I think the change that will happen is hotel management and resort management will emphasis the importance of bringing all these departments in the security plan," he said.
The hotel security mavens said this is a low-cost technique that could make properties safer right away.
"To me that is a prudent first step, and it is a first step that could be almost immediately implemented," Taylor said.
What might be less feasible are large scanning devices in hotel lobbies, especially in Las Vegas where properties have large open lobbies, the experts said.
Hotels need to not only examine the logistics, Taylor said, but how receptive guests will be to the idea.
Several big-name hotels, including the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, started scanning luggage in the first days after the shooting.
But the Wynn scaled some of that back after a 10-minute backup to get into the hotel, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
"It's going to slow access," Taylor told the Daily News. "It may not be 100% feasible or even in reality to be done."