Local News


Steve Wynn talks about 'extraordinary' security measures with Jon Ralston

Part 1
Posted at 1:43 PM, Sep 29, 2016

Even midweek, the areas near the entrance to every casino on Las Vegas Boulevard are packed with tourists.
That's why law enforcement experts say the city is on the list of terror targets.
"Terrorism is very much in the forefront of every casino owner's mind," said retired Lt. Randy Sutton, 13 Action News Crime and Safety Expert.

For years, law enforcement officials have fretted about Las Vegas being a terror target. Chatter picked up by federal agencies. The internationally known skyline. The Sin City reputation. It was obvious.
Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn confirmed as much in an exclusive interview with Jon Ralston.  
"Las Vegas is a target city. We have hardened the target at the Wynn,” Wynn said. “This is the first time I’ve ever revealed this publicly. But we went, there’s a division in the Marine Corps of special people that are specially trained to guard the embassies. That’s a whole division with separate base, separate training.

"There are almost 40 of them at every opening of my building, plain clothes, armed, on the look-out, changing shift and being relieved every two hours so they don’t get bored.”

Wynn said he started last December planning new sophisticated, covert security measures but that it only became operational a month ago.
"We have another group of a half a dozen seals team six guys and CIA guys who are a counterterrorism unit that ... relate on a daily basis to Homeland Security, the FBI, and Metro," he said. "My company has metal detectors and devices at every entrance of the building for employees and guests that are non-visible to the public. We have done extraordinary things to make that sure we protect our employees and our guests at the hotel."

The Sin City image is just part of why Las Vegas could be a potential target.

"You know why we’re a big target? It isn’t just the amorality of it, in terms of maybe what some Muslim might think, you know. The Qur’an might be against what we do -- our lifestyle of drinking and partying that the city stands for," Wynn said. "But what Las Vegas does have, like New York, but more so, is great concentrations of people. Like a football game. But we have all these arenas and these showrooms. These massive amounts of people on the Strip. 43 million people a year -- 800 odd thousand a week!"

Watch the full segment with Wynn below.


Unlike Wynn, other properties 13 Action News reached out to were not ready to discuss the security measures they are using to identify potential threats.
Sutton says many are turning the attention of surveillance used to catch card cheats to tracking potential threats.
"They have some of the most sophisticated surveillance equipment available and they always have," Sutton said.
Tourists say they haven't noticed the increased measures Wynn revealed, but say they are welcome.
Sutton says it is important for the private security teams to be proactive, because often times police officers are forced to react.               
"You try to develop the intelligence. You try to head it off at the pass, but there can't be a cop everywhere," Sutton said.