Mohegan Sun's digital evolution

Tracking the path of the Connecticut resort's move to digital video

Built in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is one of the most spacious and exciting gaming and entertainment destinations in the United States. The facility encompasses more than 300,000 square feet of gaming space, a 34-story, 1,200-room luxury hotel tower, 30 of New England's finest dining establishments, 130,000 square feet of retail space, a 10,000-seat arena that plays host to world-class entertainers, 100,000 square feet of meeting space and much more.

Just like the mega resorts on the Las Vegas strip, keeping the enormous Mohegan Sun campus and all its guests and employees safe and secure is no simple task. The Mohegan Sun security team has spent decades developing and gradually enhancing a customized, state-of-the-art digital surveillance system that monitors security events in real-time, while efficiently archiving high-quality video data for easy access during investigations.

A Complex Mix of Facilities

Creating a comprehensive surveillance system to handle the myriad of environments throughout the Mohegan Sun campus required careful planning and execution. The campus is divided into four distinct security zones - Transportation, Public Safety, Security and Gaming - each with its own unique requirements.

Transportation security, for example, must film every car entering the valet area to create a video record of each vehicle in order to refute and validate damage claims. Public Safety covers all exterior areas of the property, as well as the public works facilities within the campus. The Security Group is in charge of all non-gaming areas inside the facility, including parking structures and employee areas, as well as the hotel, arena and convention center. Finally, Gaming handles security for the casino floor, Keno parlors and money counting areas. Each zone has its own stakeholders and security demands that must be satisfied.

Evolution, Not Revolution

For the Mohegan Sun security team, the development of a cutting-edge, digital surveillance solution involved a meticulous process that began before the casino ever opened its doors. At the time Mohegan Sun was being constructed, its initial security system comprised a hybrid of analog cameras connected to a series of more than 140 VCRs. While this provided video coverage of all the areas within the facility, the process of changing out VCR cassettes was resource-intensive, and the recording quality of the video was not what it could be. In addition, the ability to quickly locate a particular segment of video footage was tedious, at best, and often time-consuming. This made it challenging to quickly and efficiently access and leverage video data for investigative purposes.

For the following generation of the casino's video technology, Mohegan Sun swapped out its VCRs for DAT recorders, which resulted in some improvements in bandwidth; yet, the archived system still required manpower to maintain the system, as well as extensive time to locate specific video segments. Even with the new automated DAT tape library, video retrieval still took longer than desired for real-time investigative applications.

The Catalyst for Going Digital

In 2002, Mohegan Sun upgraded its recording infrastructure with a technology that would have a dramatic impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of its security systems, while setting the stage for a fully-digital recording platform - the introduction of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) from Verint Video Intelligence Solutions.

The move to Verint DVRs has had a dramatic impact on the security policies and investigative procedures at Mohegan Sun. With the DVRs in place, it has been able to adopt a 100-percent recording policy - where everything that happens within the Mohegan Sun campus is captured and archived.

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