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The Venetian Macau casino resort to undergo security drill

Thu, Mar 21, 1:37pm by Staff Writer

A Macau casino resort is going to be attacked this Friday, but luckily it will only be a simulation drill.

The Venetian Macau casino resort has been asked by the city to stage the simulation, in order for police and public sector departments, as well as the casino, to understand how best to respond to an attack, Calvin Ayre reports.

Among those set to participate are the Judiciary Police, the Public Security Police, the Fire Services Bureau and the Customers Service.

The exercise will be coordinated by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau and the Unitary Police Services.

The Unitary Police Services issued a press released 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.

This was however refuted in June, when the DICJ told news outlet GGR Asia 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.”

Attack simulations common place in the wake of recent attacks

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.

A report from January 28, 2018 states that Casinos in Macau and the United States held emergency response drills to gauge their ability to handle situations similar to the Las Vegas shooting incident.

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.

Vegas casinos also conducted security reviews in the wake of the mass shooting, but the concerns weren’t limited to Nevada.

Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino staged an active shooter exercise using replica firearms in a cordoned off poker room in 2018.

The exercise involved 50 officers from the Mashantucket Police Department and other regional authorities.

Macau has routinely been viewed as a potential attack target, according to Steve Vickers and Associates.

The risk consulting and corporate diligence 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.”


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