Casinos in America and around the world have been reported to have reviewed and upgraded their security protocols in light of the Resorts World Manila shooting in June 2017 and the Mandalay Bay shootings that took place in October 2017. Since then, there hasn’t been any shooting or terrorist related incident at any of the major casinos around the world.
Since most poker tournaments take place inside major casinos, major poker tournaments have always benefited from the security provided by casino operators. However, in light of the recent Jacksonville shooting, it might be time for both amateur and small poker tournaments to have a closer look at their security procedures going forward.
Jacksonville Shooting At Gaming Tournament
Things went bad at a Gaming Tournament being held in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday night when one of the gamers decided to open fire and vent out his frustrations on other games at the Madden NFL 19 tournament.
The popular video gaming tournament had a number of young gamers present as well as a number of fans who were there to watch the action. David Katz who is an avid gamer who won the 2017 Championship was the one who opened fire and ended up killing 22 year old Eli Clayton from California and 27 year old Taylor Robertson of West Virginia. The 24 year old Katz would then go on to take his life. There were no other casualties or victims with serious injuries thankfully.
What Security Did Madden NFL 19 Have?     
It is safe to say that no one expected gun violence to take place amongst a group of video gamers whose main focus was to play video games and enjoy their favorite hobby. EA Sports, the developers of Madden 19 claimed that this group was generally a close knit group who travelled to different circuits.
CEO Andrew Wilson said that this was the first time ever that the company had experienced anything like this and also stated that this was also the first time that the e-gaming community had experienced violence of this nature.
The organizers who put together Madden NFL in Jacksonville were clearly not prepared. They allowed Katz to enter the premises with a .9mm and .45 caliber along with multiple rounds of ammunition. Given the fact that America has witnessed a spree of shootings at different schools across the country, there definitely should have been better security protocols in place to protect the young people.
Poker Operators Must Re-Think Security Protocols
Poker operators in America and around the world will do well to take the Jacksonville incident seriously and invest the time and resources to improve their security. This is because the majority of poker games taking place in clubs, bars and gaming parlours have little to not security and that could put both players and patrons at risk.
Katz was reportedly going through a tough time in his personal life after his parents divorced. Losing at Madden NFL 19 was probably the final straw that caused him to snap. There are many similarities here that poker players face on a day-to-day basis. A lot of poker players are under financial pressure to either win money to pay back their loans or to win money in order to pay their bills.
Mike Sexton who is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF) and the chairman of partypoker believes that it is best for casinos, schools and arenas to start installing metal detectors to prevent such incidents from happening.
In a statement, Sexton said “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.”
eSports Industry Must Be On Alert
The eSports industry is a close to being a billion dollar industry and eSports bets globally bring in over $6 billion. There are a number of eSports arenas cropping up and they will be forced to beef up security after the Jacksonville gaming shooting. Given the fact that many eSport games have a lot of shooting in them, it will be a wise decision for eSports organizers who have security present at all times to be safe rather than sorry.

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