Casinos in Macau and the United States held emergency response drills this week to gauge their ability to handle situations like last year’s mass shooting incident in Las Vegas.
In the wee hours of Monday morning, Galaxy Entertainment Group’s flagship Galaxy Macau resort staged a scenario in which four men acted as knife-wielding robbers who attacked several casino guests, then held them hostage while pretending to plant a suspected explosive device.
Casino security and police helped evacuate the resort’s other guests and attended to the ‘injured’ until the bomb squad could arrive. Mediators negotiated with the ‘suspects’ but this was apparently a ruse, as Special Operations Group agents closed in and rescued the ‘hostages.’
Over 350 individuals and nine entities – including the Judiciary Police, Public Security Police and the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – took part in the ‘Wolf Hunting’ simulation, which was intended to determine how well the government and private sector firms cooperated in an emergency.
The test, the first of several scheduled for this year, was ultimately deemed a success. Macau authorities announced plans for a series of terror drills last October, just weeks after a gunman opened fire on a Las Vegas outdoor concert, resulting in 59 fatalities. Several months earlier, a gunman set fires inside Resorts World Manila, resulting in 37 fatalities.
Vegas casinos also conducted security reviews in the wake of October’s mass shooting, but the concerns weren’t limited to Nevada. On Monday, Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino staged an active shooter exercise – using replica firearms – in a cordoned-off poker room that involved over 50 officers from the Mashantucket Police Department and other regional authorities.