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Beautiful Data by Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher

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Corruption at the Roulette Wheel

This is a true story where bad-guy data finds good-guy data—causing an unexpected discovery and resulting in a surprise outcome.

In the mid-1990s, riverboat gaming became legalized in many new jurisdictions, Louisiana being one of them. One of the challenges of a new gaming jurisdiction is the lack of available local employee candidates with deep gaming experience. New jurisdictions must therefore train the local workforce in a wide range of specialty job categories, ranging from dealers to surveillance room operators. Bossier City, Louisiana is one such community that had to make the transition from no casino business to casino riverboat operations.

Today is like any other day in any other casino. The dealers are watching the players. The floor supervisors are watching the dealers and the players. The casino manager is watching the floor supervisors, the dealers, and the players. And the surveillance room is watching everyone—even the casino executives. The surveillance room has an obligation to watch gaming transactions, not only to protect the house but also to protect the customers. Surveillance focuses both on gambling transactions as well as evidence of other criminal activity. For example, a purse-snatcher is bad for business because he interferes with the customer experience.

Surveillance is the last line of defense.

Hundreds of cameras (thousands in the Vegas mega-casinos) are piped into a remarkably tiny surveillance room. Twenty, thirty, maybe ...

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