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US – Steve Wynn highlights red flags in build up to Las Vegas massacre

By - 9 October 2017

Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn has said that security staff at his Las Vegas properties would have spotted red flags leading up to the Mandalay Bay massacre that saw a lone-gunman kill 58 concert goers and injure 500 more on October 1.

Mr. Wynn described Las Vegas as ‘a target city’ back in a September 2016 interview with KTNV due to its ‘arenas and showrooms’ and ‘massive amounts of people on the Strip.’

The gunman, who fired shots through two windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, targeted a crowd of 20,000 people who had gathered at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on land opposite the casino resort
Mr. Wynn confirmed that at his properties an investigation would be launched if someone places a ‘ do not disturb’ sign on a room for at least 12 hours. At the Mandalay Bay, the gunman is believed to have been holed up in his room for three days as he prepared his arsenal of weapons for the massacre.

Speaking on Fox News, Mr. Wynn said: “The scenario that we’re aware of would have indicated that he didn’t let anyone in the room for two or three days, that would have triggered a whole bunch of alarms here and we would have, on behalf of the guests, of course, investigated for safety and it would have been provocative situation. I’m sure that the same is true in other hotels but in this hotel, a 36-hour, a 24-hour, 36-hour ‘Do Not Disturb’ on a room is a predicate for investigation.”

Mr. Wynn acknowledged that gunman, who was known to some staff at Wynn Resorts, did not display any worrying characteristics. He said the gunman had ‘the most vanilla profile one could possibly imagine.’

He said: “’He’s been staying in Las Vegas since ’06, a frequent visitor, once or twice a month, to this hotel and others. This is a man who behaved rationally, privately, a little introverted, liked to play video poker. He was a modest gambler at least by our standards, you know, nothing serious, paid promptly, never owed any money anywhere in Las Vegas.

Every historical review of his behavior indicates that he was a rational man, so was his girlfriend. And yet he prepared over an extended period of time, a totally irrational act.”’

Mr. Wynn said he thought the gunman was either ‘demented’ or was trying to send a message.

“We don’t know what that message is or if there is one, but this behaviour, according to my employees, is as stunning, as unexpected as anybody, any of them have ever met,” he said.

Mr. Wynn said that Wynn Resorts had done ‘extraordinary things to make sure that we protect our employees and our guests at the hotel.’

“We have hardened the target at the Wynn,” he explained, adding that covert security devices were employed at every entrance, while specially trained guards had also been deployed.

“There are almost 40 of them at every opening of my building, plain clothes, armed, on the look-out, changing shift and being relieved every two hours so they don’t get bored,” Wynn added. “We had to recruit and expand security by tens of millions of dollars to cover every entrance, to retrain the entire workforce – from housekeeping and room service – and people are in the tower and observing people,” Wynn said.”We had to cover every exit and every aspect of the building to see if we could identify and preempt any kind of terroristic or violent action. It is never perfect, of course, but what you can do, to use local vernacular: you can change the odds. We don’t allow guns in this building unless they’re being carried by our employees and there’s a lot of them. But if anybody’s got a gun and we find them continually, we eject them from the hotel.”

A former professional gambler RJ Cipriani, who is now believed to be banned from entering casinos worldwide, slammed Las Vegas casinos for a lack of security.

“People can come and go as they please in casinos. It’s an abomination for security of a multi-billion-dollar corporation to have no metal detectors,” he said. “In this world we are living today, where home-grown and international terrorists are trying to kill people, and we don’t have the balls to put security measures in these hotels and casinos that millions of people go to every year. They didn’t do it because they didn’t want to inconvenience their customers. Inconvenience me so I can sit a table and know nobody is going to shoot me. This guy was able to bring ten rifles into the casino and I bet my life that the hotel bellhop carried those weapons up the 32nd floor and into his room.”

A.G. Burnett, Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said that a task force was set up among regulators and law enforcement officials a few years ago to discuss security issues.

“We were always worried about something like this happening on the casino floor, but this was outside the casino,” Mr. Burnett said. “We will continue our efforts in speaking with Las Vegas casinos on bolstering their security.”

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