Market Focus: Gaming & Casinos

A roundup of recent unique security applications and installations

The system, installed by TimeSight Systems partner Southwest Surveillance Systems, replaces an analog environment employing both VCR and DVR technology. The BIP2-1300c-dn IP megapixel cameras from Basler provide a full frame rate 30fps stream even in low-light environments, which has been one hurdle to bringing megapixel recording into gaming. The majority of the cameras are located in the gaming table and slot machine areas. Additional cameras secure the casino's "cage," where chips and tokens can be bought or exchanged for cash and where money is counted. In this area, Basler's BIP2-640c-dn IP Cameras will be used to detect any irregularities that are too fast for the human eye to see.

The other obstacle to megapixel has been storage requirements driven by hundreds or thousands of high-resolution cameras; however, the VLM technology slashes the storage requirement by up to 90 percent, making these systems both affordable and space-efficient.

The all-IP based system will support hundreds of cameras on less than one half of a data center rack, which is about one twentieth of the existing space requirement of the DVR/NVRs. In addition, the casino will be able to extend its video retention on table games by 20X, and at least 5X for the rest of the property's cameras, giving them much greater protection over time to review past events, minimize liability and perform analysis.

"As one of the first certified megapixel installations in Las Vegas gaming, the quality of images is amazing and will set a new standard for forensic image quality in this environment," says Scott Bartlett, CEO of Southwest Surveillance. "Most casinos struggle to determine the suits of cards on the table when viewing their video; this system gives the ability to clearly read the suit of cards on the table not only immediately, but months later. Further, the ability to determine denominations of bills passing the cashier or read the labels on stacks of chips in the fill slip window brings a whole new level of audit ability to this market. In addition, the property can address not only the Gaming Commission regulations for retention, but offer extended retention for their own needs past gaming, including back office, front office, retail and inventory loss prevention."

Stratosphere and Aquarius Casinos

American Casino & Entertainment Properties LLC (ACEP) has chosen custom surveillance systems from Synectics for both the Stratosphere Casino in Las Vegas, and the Aquarius Casino in Laughlin, Nev.

The surveillance solution will provide around-the-clock surveillance of the Stratosphere's 80,000-square-foot casino, which features more than 50 game tables, 1,200 slot and video poker machines, a poker room and race and sports book betting. The system, powered by the supplier's Synergy video management software, will also be installed to provide surveillance coverage to the 57,000 square foot Aquarius Casino, home to 1,260 slot machines and 45 game tables.

"Synectics' solution offers us advanced integrations and high quality video recording with a simple user interface," says Jerry McCawley, Corporate Vice President of Surveillance for ACEP.

The solution is fully compliant with Nevada gaming regulations, and ACEP intends to install it at its Aquarius Casino property once the Stratosphere conversion is complete to unify surveillance between the two properties under one technology brand.

Using the supplier's eSynx-16 PCI-e internal encoders, the system will record the ACEP casinos' cameras using H.264 video compression technology for maximum storage efficiency. The system is also designed to incorporate high-definition IP cameras in the casinos' most sensitive areas and provides multiple layers of failover protection with Hot Swap and RAID-6 redundancy for all recording.

At the Stratosphere, three remote recording locations will be backhauled via fiber and consolidated into a new central video surveillance recording and reviewing room that will contain all video switching and recording equipment. Working with integrator/installer Technical Security Integration (TSI), Synectics will upgrade Stratosphere to a digital recording surveillance system with integration to a new Pelco matrix and the casino's point-of-sale, access control and slot management systems.

Integration of video to third-party systems through the VMS will eventually include tools to mine and correlate alarm and transactional data to identify suspicious patterns, fraudulent activities, slot performance, marketing trends, etc. This information, when tied to video, can be used effectively to enhance the overall efficiency, security and profitability of the casino.

Las Vegas CityCenter