Compliance Scorecard: In a Varied Regulatory Environment, Understanding Is Crucial

Regulation and standards-making for the gaming industry is a mixed bag across the country. With each state maintaining its own set of requirements for surveillance, background checking, access control, accounting management and more, you could say the luck is in the draw — your location determines your fate.

Consider surveillance requirements, for example. Casinos and other gambling facilities in some states must provide full coverage of the gaming floor and aisles to ensure that every patron can be observed and all actions recorded. However, in other states, such as New York, the stakes are higher, according to Mark Farrell, Comcast CSO and Security Executive Council member who previously ran security for Delaware North Companies Inc. “The standard there was heavy camera coverage on slots,” he says. “In New York, you had to be able to read the denomination of a bill being put into a slot machine, and you had to be able to see the lights and the credits on the machine. It was a very heavy camera environment.”

Farrell notes that New York gambling facilities must, in addition to maintaining surveillance monitoring areas, provide a monitoring station for state police who regulate gaming. This entails both setting aside space and providing additional equipment and infrastructure.

Compliance is often linked to state licensing, and where standards are strict, there is not always an opportunity to find innovative or cost-saving ways to accomplish the goals of the requirements. This can lead to an expensive operating environment.

Understanding the state’s expectations for security is crucial. While compliance is generally a significant concern for gaming facility management, do not rely on others to keep track of the requirements on Security’s behalf. Understanding state mandates may help you to see efficiencies or possibilities that may go unnoticed by others.

Reach out to the state gaming commission or gaming control board. Develop relationships with appropriate contacts at the legislative level. And, as always, work with your local casino association or gaming association to impact licensing requirements and regulation.

Marleah Blades is senior editor for the Security Executive Council (SEC). The SEC maintains a large list of laws, regulations, standards and guidelines that impact security at