Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Sol Guardians

The road to Casino Del Sol located at 5655 Valencia Road is a long,  straight commute surrounded by foothills, secluded homes, and barren desert. I'm driving there, thinking "Where is this place?" "Did I miss it? How could I miss it?" However, the confusion didn't last long. You can't miss it. It's a sprawling, out-of-place Pascua Yaqui Tribe establishment with the exterior of a Mexican villa and a backyard of natural desolation.  

The interior has a diverse flare, complete with two casino floors, a variety of restaurants, bars, a gift shop, and even an artificial alleyway decorated to simulate Chinatown.  

Then, I realize that I'm not supposed to feel like I even entered a building. The ceiling is backlit with a bright blue, lightly clouded sky, pumping artificial vitamin D into all the gamblers who aren't supposed to know what time it is, or how long they've been peddling away their savings. With classic rock and pop songs pumping through the speakers, flat screens broadcasting ESPN, and the choice of slots, blackjack, poker, and bingo, why would anyone want check their watch? 

It is an establishment to play games, take chances, and have fun. Daily shuttles from Nogales and Douglas escort players through the doors with the common goal to win some money. However, occasionally the entertainment is interrupted, and the casino has to depend on the security guards to maintain order. 

"Our job is to regulate. We are here to keep people safe at the casino, and be a deterrent to violence," said David Bojorquez, the lead security officer at the Casino Del Sol. 

The mixture of alcohol and finances can occasionally lead to physically violent scuffles between guests. "We have to deal with a lot of intoxicated people, especially on the weekends," said Bojorquez. "We're the first means of defense." 

Subduing assaulters is not the only responsibility security officers deal with on a regular basis, they have to constantly be aware of people who are trying to steal other people's money. 

"We deal with a lot of shady people," said Bojorquez. 

Although these problems arise, the casino remains a place where most come to enjoy themselves and refrain from causing problems. 

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