There have been reports of robberies taking place outside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino where the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is currently in full swing. Several players were robbed at gunpoint while carrying a lot of cash.
In a tweet, one victim shared how his bag of cash, which also contained his WSOP Main Event buy-in, was robbed just outside the venue.
While these multiple robbery incidents involving WSOP players have gained mixed reactions from the poker community, it prompted a new discussion on why safety measures should be put in place for participants during major tournaments like the WSOP.
The thread also focused on the importance of players being alert and taking necessary precautions.
Given the amount of money up for grabs at the WSOP and the fact that the tournament makes most of its money via rake collections from players, poker content creator Joey Ingram and poker pro Ryan Laplante think the WSOP should implement increased security measures to protect its players.
Ingram and Laplante are among those calling for better security particularly in the WSOP parking lot. The parking lot assigned for the WSOP is massive and makes it an easy target for muggers.
We need better security in the WSOP parking lot ASAP. I'm surprised this type of thing hasn't happened more often w/ how big & open the parking lot is and how little security exists outside. This type of thing is awful to allow to happen.
— Joey Ingram 🤙🏻🤙🏻 (@Joeingram1) 1 July 2019
In the wake of recent robbery reports, WSOP officials said they have always offered a multitude of security options for players, and it’s up to the players to decide whether to make use of them or not. The problem is most of the players are not aware of these security measures being offered.
WSOP Providing Extra Security
Any guest can request for a security escort to the parking areas. They can also leave their cash at safety deposit boxes, or make their payment through check and wire transfer so they won’t have to carry with them large sums of money. There are also security patrols both via vehicle and bike in the parking lots and they will be present for the entire duration of the tournament.
Reminder: WSOP offers security escorts to our parking areas to any guest who requests one. Please contact the nearest yellow-shirt security officer in WSOP areas. We also have safety deposit boxes for use in WSOP cage, as well as wire transfer and check as payment methods.
— WSOP (@WSOP) 1 July 2019
A player can also use a tournament buy-in account, a new transaction method adopted by WSOP this year. The buy-in account allows players to go entirely digital in their deposits and withdrawals. Moreover, they can utilize valet parking as an added level of protection for their vehicles.
To maximize their security during the festival, players are advised to take proactive steps as safety is a joint effort. Carrying a lot of cash, walking alone at night or associating with strangers especially outside the Rio is to be avoided.