The Venetian Macao casino resort is going to be attacked this Friday, March 22. Fortunately, it’s only a simulation drill that is being organized by the city in order for the police and public-sector departments, as well as the casino, to understand how best to respond to a real attack.
Among those set to participate are the Judiciary Police, the Public Security Police, the Fire Services Bureau and the Customs Service. The exercise will be coordinated by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ, for its Portuguese acronym) and the Unitary Police Service. The UPS issued a press release on the exercise, which it has dubbed Wolf Hunting 2019, adding that the Venetian was chosen, in part, due to its proximity to the barracks of the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military branch.
The drill is meant to simulate an assault on the Venetian led by armed assailants. It will include fake bomb threats and injuries, as well as hostage-taking exercises.
This will be the second attack exercise held for the Macau gaming sector in the past 14 months. In January 2018, the city conducted a similar drill at the Galaxy Macau, which is located in front of the Venetian.
Wong Sio Chak, the city’s Secretary for Security, acknowledged after that January drill that there would be more drills held in Macau. However, this was refuted in June, when the DICJ told news outlet GGRAsia that there were no plans to conduct simulations “in the coming months.” It added, “Nevertheless, the DICJ will continue paying close attention to the security of the casinos and should there be any need for another joint simulation drill… the DICJ will actively participate in it and provide the necessary coordination and support.”
The simulations follow a real attack that occurred at Resorts World Manila, as well as in Las Vegas, in 2017. That October, Macau announced the plan to conduct drills in order to ensure that the city and its casinos were prepared to respond appropriately in case they became targets.
Macau has routinely been viewed as a potential target for attacks, a concern that was supported by Steve Vickers and Associates. The risk consulting and corporate intelligence company published its 2019 Asia Risk Assessment earlier this year, in which it asserted, “The prospect of a terrorist attack on a [Macau] casino is… a chronic worry, although Macau has recently taken some steps to limit the danger.”