In October 2017, Stephen Paddock launched a cold-blooded attack from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas that took 57 innocent lives and wounded over 500 more before taking his own life. This past Sunday, David Katz brutally killed two people before killing himself after he lost a competition during the Madden NFL 19 eSports tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. Now, according to Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, it might be time for casinos and other gaming facilities to consider installing metal detectors.
Sexton posted his thoughts on Twitter, saying, “It’s a sad state of affairs but it should be obvious by now that if we want to curb senseless shootings (inside buildings anyway), we need to install metal detectors at every school, arena, and store/building where there is substantial traffic.”
Card Player Magazine got in touch with Sexton for more insight on his comments and was told, “Sadly, I’ve always worried about some poker player who went broke or felt he got a bad ruling to come back and start blasting. It’s a concern. I predict casinos will all go to metal detectors in the not too distant future.”
It’s certainly not an idea that is without merit. Despite areas such as Nevada having laws that allow its citizens to carry firearms, there are some areas where they simply don’t need to be present. Having metal detectors may seem like an infringement of individual rights; however, what is better for society is more important than what is better for the individual.
eSports is a thriving business in the U.S., currently raking in around $1 billion annually. Gambling on eSports attracts around $6 billion each year and it is increasingly becoming a part of the gambling ecosystem. A new 30,000-square-foot eSports arena was recently inaugurated at the Luxor in Las Vegas and it even had a small presence at the WSOP last summer. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned PASPA, sports gambling is expected to increase exponentially as the industry continues to develop. Many of the venues where eSports competitions are held have little or no security.
Sexton points out that it isn’t far-fetched to believe that some poker player could lose it and start firing rounds at a poker tournament. In a larger casino with more security this may not be a big concern, but smaller venues with little security could become targets. It would make sense to begin installing metal detectors sooner rather than later, so that we can avoid another incident like those seen in the past year.