A happy medium

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs stays IP-ready with integrated system


In 2005, Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun - one of the largest U.S. casinos - purchased the 40-year-old Pocono Downs Racetrack in Plains Township, Pa., and renamed it Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The organization sought to convert the property to a casino complex and significantly expand it. In late 2006, as part of this transition, the organization put in place a temporary 1,100-slot gaming facility exclusively equipped with IP video technology as it worked on completion of the new facility set for opening in early 2008.

While IP video is becoming an increasingly common part of today's video installations, Mohegan's security personnel quickly learned that IP systems are not one-size-fits-all solutions after seeing the temporary facility's system in action. Though technically advanced and "future-forward," the IP technology was a hindrance to the new Mohegan site's operations, according to Dave Zarn, surveillance technical manager for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

"The IP technology in place wasn't well-suited for our operations," Zarn says. "We couldn't easily expand the system, plus the technology was slow and lacked the versatility we needed for an environment with so much happening at once. We'd have one piece work in one setting but not in another, and you can't successfully run a gaming operation that way."

Zarn and his team sought an alternative solution for the permanent facility that would yield better results. Selecting an alternative, however, would mean deviating from the technology in place at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. That meant the team needed to demonstrate why it was necessary to change systems and how it could be financially viable. The answer meant finding an integrated system that would protect current investments while offering enhanced technological benefits that could easily expand with the facility. After reviewing several different products and observing installations at other casinos, the team selected a fully integrated video technology system from Honeywell.

"We needed technology that plays nice with other products, and that's what we found," Zarn says. "Our selection gave us an opportunity for cost savings through enhanced integration, and it also offers greater flexibility for future expansion."

Designed, installed and integrated by North American Video, the video system encompasses a mix of products from Honeywell, including analog dome cameras on a CAT5 and fiber backbone that's IP-ready for expansion. Honeywell ACUIX PTZ cameras provide video monitoring of the casino floor, as well as Mohegan's parking structure, racetrack and clubhouse, and are tied into matrix switchers through its Honeywell's VideoBloX matrix system. Honeywell enterprise-level digital network video recorders (NVRs) capture the images. In total, 724 cameras were installed in the front and back of the house and 110 on the permanent casino floor.

Zarn also sought a way to further simplify security and surveillance operations by tying together video subsystems spread across the facility. To accomplish this, the organization selected MAXPRO-Net, Honeywell's video management technology.
The Windows-based server leverages the analog video matrix and supports video subsystems, including the digital NVR systems throughout the facility, and has the capacity to support other security technology - including access control, fire, building management, intercom and perimeter systems.

Operators can easily access live or recorded video from 12 workstations spread across the property, based on specific permissions assigned for each station. The workstations are each configured for different purposes, including video review and risk management assessment. The system can also integrate both analog and IP video cameras in a single display, ensuring that IP technology can be easily incorporated as the system expands in the future.

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