State, casino security gearing up for casino opening

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - When the Hollywood Casino Toledo opens in 13 days, it will not be just private security patrolling the casino floor or watching security footage of gaming.

The Ohio Casino Commission has its own security operation inside the building to ensure state gaming laws are being followed.

"Our 12 agents will be in house here at the casino. At any given time there will be two to five agents on any shift, depending on the level of the crowd.  We have our own surveillance cameras in the commission, independent of the casino surveillance cameras," said Karen J. Huey, director of enforcement for the Ohio Casino Control Commission. "They are certified Ohio peace officers. They will be armed. They will be at the casino 24/7."

Huey said the 12 state gaming agents have received special training to spot signs of casino customers trying to cheat or steal their way to some quick cash. Officials with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will also be watching customers and casino employees alike to ensure no cheating or theft is going on inside the casino.

"We learned how to play Blackjack. We learned how to deal Blackjack. We learned how to cheat at Blackjack," said Huey. "Craps tables are very big, there's a lot going on. There's multiple betting going on. Often you'll find groups together working there."

Deputy Director of Enforcement Kurt Shearer said besides the gaming floor, agents will also be paying close attention to the cashier cages.

"I need change for a hundred. Give me that back. I found a smaller bill. They call that the short con," explained Shearer.

Huey also said it is not uncommon to find counterfeit money circulating casinos, which is why agents will be watching visitors and employees.

"It's a lot of money involved, a lot of money at these tables, and there's temptation on both sides of the table," said Shearer.

Private and state security officials will get a practice run May 24 when the casino holds a "soft open" event.

"This will enable us to test our training to make sure we're doing the right thing. We'll see every aspect of the casino operation," said Shearer.

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