Advanced Security Training: Its Role within the Gaming Industry
Almost half of us (47%) will have participated in at least one form of gambling during the past month, writes Richard McCann.
Gaming is clearly an extremely popular form of adult entertainment as well as playing an important role in the hospitality economy, and providing employment for more than 100,000 people.
Responsible gambling is at the core of today’s hospitality sector and indeed many charities benefit significantly from casino patronage, as well as the sector’s significant contribution to the Exchequer!
The gaming sector of the hospitality industry has grown and changed much in recent years; as the sector has evolved, operators have placed new demands on the industry’s contractors and employees, requiring them to grow in order to reflect those changes.
Security is, of course, a vital part of the gaming industry and one key provider is most certainly responding to change and developing the specialist skills of its workforce – Leisuresec plc.
The Un-noticed Referee
“Like a football referee or a tennis umpire, the best security people are the ones who are hardly noticed,” explains Mr Cusack Gordon, Managing Director of Leisuresec plc, the UKs biggest national gaming industry security experts with clients drawn from the industry’s major operators.
More so than other licensed premises operators, Leisuresec’s gaming clients demand security operatives to perpetuate a warm, friendly and safe environment for its clientele and it’s responsible gambling that provides the excitement.
State-of-the-art methods mean that these days the focus is on prevention of problems before they occur, and while science and technology are important, there’s still a significant element of ‘art’ to Leisuresec’s work as well, which is reflected in the firm’s industry-leading Advanced Sector Training (AST).
If it’s good, then security will be often taken for granted; but the importance of excellent security cannot be overstated.
And the key to that excellence is training.
A Different League
Casino Security requires a specialised focus. Attention to physical security concerns must dovetail with surveillance of internal concerns.
“A key to understanding casino security,” explains Mr Gordon, “is developing an understanding of people. And when security staff are specifically trained in this challenging and specialised area they are elevated into a higher league than others who possess only a general knowledge of the industry.”
Leisuresec plc’s AST (Advanced Sector Training) leads candidates from a study of effective communications skills, through non-verbal communication and developing problem solving skills, into the fascinating and complex worlds of counter-cheating strategies and the role of new technologies.
Students develop the dynamics of good communication and are taught to understand how their new skills will aid them in building rapport, handling difficult patrons and diffusing volatile situations. Advanced modules develop staff skills in pinpointing gestures, expressions, and their underlying meanings; and candidates learn about the significance and value of Non Verbal Communication and its use in predictive behaviour management.
Modules are between 45 to 90 minutes and provide a useful platform for Casino management to customise their security workforce working practices using this training as a reference point.
While the SIA’s (Security Industry Authority) own training is compulsory in order to qualify for a licence, it is – of necessity – pitched at a basic level and a generalised security role whereas Leisuresec’s AST is entirely focused on the needs of the hospitality industry, with more discreet security methods being applied. The additional use of ‘role play’ ensures that the AST training combines academic study with hands-on ‘real world’ practice to ensure that there’s really nothing in the industry like AST training.
Cheats, Scams and New Technology
Casinos tend to have a broader set of security issues than many other settings. Casinos can be busy environments with a lot of cash around to add to the mix. Candidates taking the Leisuresec plc AST are taught to develop their sense of greater awareness, equipping them with the skills required to recognise the cheats and scams conducted on gaming premises.
Finally, staff are trained and inducted into an area that has become a Leisuresec plc specialism – that of introducing new technology into the security industry. Candidates are taught to bridge the gap between existing protocols and practice and new ground-breaking tools, so that upon graduation they are able to navigate and utilise the new Leisuresec plc bespoke audit & reporting APP and demonstrate the use of chest cams to record footage for evidential purposes.
While its training is industry-leading, Leisuresec is not complacent - Refresher Training is also part of the AST programme, keeping staff current and focussed, and also introducing sector-specific developments, professional refinements and Leisuresec’s latest technology innovations, on a regular basis.