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How Vegas Security Drives Surveillance Tech Everywhere

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Three types of cameras feed the video wall in the Mirages surveillance room (right).

Tony Law Popular Mechanics

Las Vegas casinos are incubators of the world's most advanced surveillance tech. Here's how the spy gear that helps Sin City has taught everyone from government to big banks how to snoop more effectively.

It is 2 AM inside the bunker-like surveillance room at the Mirage Resort in Las Vegas, but 28 wall monitors show there’s still plenty of action down on the floor.

A surveillance worker we’ll call Tom logs in and starts the graveyard shift, taking an overhead tour of the 100,000-square-foot casino. Using a joystick, keypad and three desktop screens, he surveys video from some of the 1000 ceiling cameras.

Tom is a table-games specialist, so he starts by scrutinizing a few poker hands, then sweeps over medium-stakes blackjack and watches a busy craps table. Nothing looks unusual until he stops at a baccarat game in the high-limit room, where betting minimums start at $100 per hand. He focuses on a young Asian man in a white suit who keeps his hands curiously positioned. Sometimes they cover the cards in front of him; at other times they rest on the side of the table. Suddenly, the man sweeps one hand up along a lapel of his jacket.

From Popular Mechanics
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