"The Gambling Capital of the World: Intelligence, Las Vegas Style!" – with James Lockhart and Keith Michaels
Keith Michaels (LinkedIn) and James Lockhart (LinkedIn) join Andrew to discuss intelligence in an unlikely place: Casinos! James and Keith have collectively over 30 years of experience within Las Vegas gaming surveillance.
What You’ll Learn
- How casinos conduct surveillance
- Collaboration between casinos and intelligence organizations
- The mob origins of Las Vegas
- Nation-state intelligence threats in casinos
- It’s just the luck of the draw…or is it?
- Playing your cards right
And much, much more …
This week on SpyCast, Andrew is joined by Keith Michaels and James Lockhart on a journey into the secret underbelly of the “Gambling Capital of the World,” Las Vegas. How do casinos conduct surveillance, and what prompted them to adopt formal surveillance operations? Tune in to find out.
Quotes of the Week
“Casino operations are venues for intelligence activity, not just for the low-level criminal or the higher-level criminal, but also nation states … You know, we're only catching about 35% of what's going on. There's a lot of cash moving around very fast. A lot of people coming in and out in a casino. So, the possibilities are kind of endless.” – James Lockhart.
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Baseball and Espionage with Ryan Zimmerman and Marc Polymeropoulos (2022)
Dealing with Russia: A Conversation with Counterintelligence Legend Jim Olson (2022)
A Brief History of Las Vegas, T. Lambert, Local Histories (2021) [Short Article]
A Brief History of Gambling, R. Cormack, Medium (2018] [Short Article]
How to Play Baccarat, WikiHow (2020) [Short Video]
Casino: The Rise and Fall of the Mob in Las Vegas, N. Pileggi (Ebury Press, 2015)
Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, D. G. Schwartz (Winchester Books, 2013)
Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, B. Mezrich (Free Press, 2002)
Casino Royale, I. Fleming (Jonathan Cape, 1953)
Federal Special Agent Pleads Guilty To Gambling With Government Funds, United States Attorney’s Office, District of Nevada (2022)
Surveillance Standards for Nonrestricted Licensees, Nevada Gaming (2005)
Gaming probers sue CIA, CIA (1979)
How U.S. Made Unholy Alliance with the Mafia, CIA (1975)
Bugsy Siegel Collection, FBI (n.d.)
- In 1983, William Casey, then Director of the CIA, was invited to the Recording Industry Cultural Award Dinner. Luckily for him, Kenny Rogers was the featured performer of the night. He probably played “The Gambler,” a song that Erin thinks is a spot-on analogy for the Intelligence Cycle. You’ve got to know when hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em … Know when to walk to away, and know when to run.