Casino’s first test: Preventing crime

Inside SugarHouse Casino, there are more than 500 security cameras monitoring every corner of the gaming floor and 50 security officers ready to pounce on anything that so much as hints at a disturbance.

But outside the casino, Fishtown resident Doreen Kissling said she is concerned things might not be as safe. “I’m waiting to see if there’s gonna be a lot of riffraff,” she said.

Casino security experts say the casino will bring an increase in property crimes and thefts simply because of the volume of people.

“With the combination of money, alcohol and the neighborhood, I would think that the main problems that will arise will not be in the casino, [but] they will be in the parking garage and they will be after people leave the casino,” said Ken Braunstein, who runs a security consulting firm in Reno, Nev.

Braunstein said because SugarHouse does not have a hotel, more visitors will be leaving with their winnings and leaving intoxicated.

Tony DiLacqua, the casino’s director of security, spent 29 years in law enforcement. He said state police will cover the casino and Philadelphia police officers from the 26th District will also have additional resources to provide assistance.

“We also will be in the parking lots to handle theft from autos and vandalism and all the kinds of stuff you get at any other entertainment venue or big venue,” he said.

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