On September 14th, the US Embassy in Lebanon issued a travel advisory for all staff to avoid the Casino du Liban due to terrorist threats. The only legal casino in Lebanon has been targeted by groups including Al Qaeda for years, including 2015 when Lebanese security forces disrupted a planned terrorist attack. From this dangerous situation, lessons can be drawn on how to confront terrorist threats to casinos and keep the gambling centers safe and operational.
The UK has three levels of terrorist threat and corresponding levels of response.
- Green: Normal security measures and routines. Maintain normal surveillance for suspicious persons.
- Yellow: Suspected terrorist threat, begin implementing advanced security protocol.
- Red: Expected and imminent terrorist threat, go to high alert emergency protocols.
Terrorist attacks can take the form of a suicide bomber wearing an IED, a placed IED, a weapons attack, or a vehicle attack using either an IED or the vehicle itself. UK services employ the METHANE method to identify and counter terrorist threats.
- Major Incident Declared
- Exact Location
- Type of Incident
- Available Access/Egress Routes
- Number and type of casualties
- Emergency Services required and present
The UK stresses the importance of identifying a threat in advance. Terrorists need reconnaissance to identify potential targets and weaknesses in the security measures protecting those targets. At a casino, anyone watching the security guards or cameras is a person of interest. Anyone taking pictures inside the gambling floor or out is a person of interest. It is of special importance to note that the terrorist suspect can be of any skin color or appearance; the desire to do harm does not have racial limits. Casinos with tight security will often scare potential attackers off into finding a less-secure target.
Not all details about the 2015 attack on Casino Du Liban are known but the METHANE method can be examined through available details. The Major incident was not publicly declared until months after its conclusion for security purposes. The location was the front doors of the Casino. The type of incident was a car bomb that was planned to be driven up to the front doors and detonated, causing mass casualties.
According to the UK SECTU guide against terrorism, there are several methods of stopping vehicular terrorism. this may include positioning Herras fencing and pedestrian barriers to physically stop vehicles. These are long-term measures with less stopping power, they are considered to be slowing but stopping powers. A recommended short-term measure would be to position heavy vehicles blocking the street, providing a flexible and mobile barrier that will stop anything dead in its tracks.
Life went on for the Casino. CEO Ronald Khoury issued a statement calling the September 14th advisory “a routine warning not exclusively related to Casino Du Liban.” He added that new security measures were in place to prevent vehicles from entering the casino premises under any circumstances.
People can still patronize the casino via its online center. Khoury has pushed the Casino’s internet arm forwards, much as internet gambling has grown through the UK in the past few years. Mobile casino UK changes the nature of the terrorist security scheme. When people gamble online, they aren’t grouped together at the casino, removing a target for potential terrorists. Mobile casinos UK over are rendering gambling safer, and less of a risk for terrorists.
Terrorism will always be a threat to casinos, but the UK is prepared to keep them safe and operation even in the worst of threats.