In 1976 the voters amended their state’s constitution to allow gambling in Atlantic City. To regulate the new industry, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (NJCCC) was established. They established a comprehensive set of regulations to be followed by the casino’s to ensure the state received all revenues they were entitled to. The gaming industry opened in 1978, Atlantic City had nine large casinos operating by 1982.
The Sands Hotel and Casino operated under the Great Bay Casino Corporation with a gross revenue of $184 million, $144 million of that revenue came from the gaming operations. The finance staff was large with approximately 2,600 people in the organization and over 400 were in the finance department. The Sands had over 1,000 gaming devices slots, blackjack, crap tables, roulette wheels and baccarat tables, 930 people were employed in the casinos operations.
Controls in the casino are cash movement and operations at the casino game tables. The cash and cash equivalents have three main elements; individual accountability, formal procedures and controls over count rooms. Individual accountability means that personnel are held accountable for the specific amount of cash they are in charge of. If shortages or other problems persistent problem continue it is ground for dismissal.
Formal procedures consist of personnel signing of on opener slips, counter check, fill slips all are signed at certain times during the movement of cash. A computer keeps track of the time the money is transferring from the fill cashier to the dealer, if the time on the floor is too long the computer notifies security. The count room’s security is tight, with supervision at all time to ensure no money is being stolen. Count rooms are equipped with a metal door, alarm, closed-circuit television cameras and audio and video taping capabilities.
The blackjack dealers are at the bottom of the organizational chart. They are supervised with physical motions being standardized to make supervision easier. All cash is kept in the middle of the gaming table to make them easier to see by supervisory personnel. Tips are accepted by tapping the cash on the table and placing it in a clear locked “toke” box attached to the table. Dealers are required to place hands in the middle of the table, showing both the palm and back of their hands, the also have required clothing with no pockets to wear.
The pit boss is a little above the floor person on the organization chart. They are the frontline surveillance for the dealers. They are highly experienced gaming personnel that are paid highly for their expertise. The main purpose of a bit boss is to watch the gaming process and spot anything out of the ordinary. The vice president of casino operation does very little supervision, they mainly keep good customers happy, resolve special problems and improve the overall operation of the casino. The main strategy is to have many eyes on what is happening is the action places such as the gaming tables, with less people resolving customers’ complaints due to the nature of gaming and the amount of cash changing hands.
Stephen Hyde is proud of the controls within the casino. However many of them are required by law making them a requirement of all casino’s. He states that his controls are exceeding the requirements in some areas and that despite the added expense of the controls that they are in the best interest of the shareholders. They have comprehensive reports to provide performance measures at various levels. They also have management-by objective bonuses, with the potential of doubling that bonus if targets are reached. The Sands controls aren’t much more than is required by law, Stephen Hyde unjustified. My understanding is that all the controls used at the Sands are required by all casinos.
“Gambling operations, including card rooms, earn large amounts of cash and present particular opportunities for skimming and money laundering. Dealers don’t have to continually inventory their chips and money while they are working, providing opportunities for fraud. In addition, cheats are drawn to casinos and card rooms because of the large amount of money generated by the facilities. Dealer skimming of chips by palming or collusion is probably the greatest risk.” (Gambling and Crime)
As to the question of preventing skimming, if a person really wants to commit a crime by skimming they will find a way and probably get caught. As to the Sands controls from the article they are doing a relatively good job with the casino floors to prevent skimming. The real unknown is if there is any fraudulent activity going on in the finance department. The controls that the Sands uses can be used in banks or in stores that have a large amount of cash changing hands.
Bragg, S.M. (2009). Controllership: The Work of the Managerial Accountant, 8th Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, New Jersey
XI. Gambling and Crime. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.library.ca.gov/CRB/97/03/Chapt11.html