Monster of securityThe yearly take at Kangwon Land, Korea’s biggest casino, is around 50 billion won ($42 million). With so much money involved the security rivals that of the Demilitarized Zone separating the Koreas. Guarding the casino from entrance to floor are a brigade of 300 security guards, including 26 women. Their average level of proficiency in a martial art is a third degree. Customers are screened meticulously, passing through metal detectors as they enter the casino floor. No cameras or portable music players are allowed. The dealers say knives used to cut up raw fish, a favorite weapon among members of Korea’s underworld, and gas pistols were often taken from customers when the casino first opened.
Still, it seems that people on the lam find their way into the casino. “Every month we catch about five to six people who are on the police wanted list,” says Yang In-mo, a security guard. Backing up the human resources is a many-eyed monster -- 730 cameras, an average of 2.5 per table, that gobble up 2,200 video tapes per day.
The harshest punishment for those who create trouble is denial of entry. The ban is so feared that those who have been sanctioned are said to reach a rapprochement with the casino and are never a problem again.