I have a love-hate relationship with Vegas.

As someone who’s not the biggest fan of crowds (after way too many years of events security) this isn’t exactly the most relaxing environment. As someone who hates to lose… well, if you think you can win here you’re fooling yourself.

On the other hand I met my wife here (at a Jimmy Buffett concert); and as a security professional this is probably the most fascinating city on the planet (followed closely by Joha


Vegas is a double whammy of security- on one side there’s all the casino security. Cameras everywhere, multiple layers of guards and law enforcement, and the built-in security systems of the games. It’s a great place to challenge yourself and try and find the holes (or catch something before the casino does).

On the other hand this is an entire city dedicated to nothing more than manipulating every man, woman, child, and sentient alien on the face of the planet. From the casino design, to the advertisements, to the very structure of the city there’s no better place to come learn social engineering. Amazing. An entire city devoted to leaching every possible dollar out of your pocket through manipulation of every base instinct in your genetic code.

It’s just fascinating- from the single deck blackjack tables that make you believe you’re a card counter, to TV shows like Las Vegas that make casinos out to be some altruistic corporation run by locals who care. My favorite on this trip is the “ultra-lounge” here at the Rio (it’s a regular hotel lobby bar with the occasional model posing on a platform). I didn’t bother to check the drink prices. I was once comped a bottle of vodka at one of the lounges. We thought we’d order a second bottle, but I didn’t think $300 for something you could get for $40 in the liquor store down the street was the best deal on the planet, no matter how many “actress/models” serve it.

You gotta love Vegas.

(Someday I’d love to check out the behind the scenes security- just in case any of you readers have connections.)