Venetian Resort Assures Slot Machine Shutdown Not Due to Cyberattack


The Venetian, a renowned resort on the Las Vegas Strip, encountered a temporary disruption on Friday which rendered approximately 50 slot machines inoperable. Inevitably, speculation swarmed around a potential cyberattack, however, Venetian officials were quick to allay such fears.

While the local casino was beset by an interruption in its slot machine operation, casino staff assured guests that the issue stemmed from “a system-wide upgrade.” As early as 2:45 p.m., onlookers on the gaming floor started reporting the shutdown or malfunctioning of slot machines across numerous social media platforms. The disruption persisted till around 4:30 p.m., causing mild consternation among the clientele.

In an official statement to the press, the Venetian iterated, “Today, we experienced a brief outage of some of our slot machines. This was not cyber-related. Slot machines have now been restored and we are diligently attending to the concerns of affected guests.”

However, the seemingly trivial outage and the subsequent need for an official clarification highlights just how laser-focused every establishment along the Las Vegas Strip is on potential cyber threats, more so in light of recent events affecting MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment.

In a recent revelation, attendants at the Venetian reportedly informed guests that the outage was the result of a “system-wide upgrade,” quite possibly bolstering system security to thwart potential cyber threats.

Caesars Entertainment featured prominently in the news recently, when it admitted to succumbing to a ransomware attack, and paid half of the demanded $30 million sum, as per a Wall Street Journal report. Furthermore, in a formal statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Caesars acknowledged that the breach succeeded in compromising customer loyalty program database, including sensitive information such as driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers.

Meanwhile, MGM Resorts also confirmed facing a cyberattack, although it refrained from divulging specific details pending an ongoing investigation. However, as per Moody’s, a credit rating firm, the resort may face the grim prospect of litigation, revenue losses, and a severe dent to its reputation.

The Venetian itself was at the receiving end of a cyberattack in February 2014 when it was under the proprietorship of billionaire Sheldon Adelson. With no financial motives attached, the attack was seemingly launched in retribution against Sands’ CEO for controversial comments he made the previous year.

The Iranian government was implicated as the perpetrator behind the 2014 attack, according to former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Post Sheldon Adelson’s demise in 2021, his family divested the casino resort, including its sister property, The Palazzo, to Vici Properties, while Apollo Global Management undertook operational control.


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