At the Frontline: Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Tim Bohr

Casino surveillance director discusses how video watches over one of the world’s largest casinos

What kind of effect has security management software had on your ability to monitor the casino?

We use a program here from iView Systems where all calls we receive or any incidents are all logged electronically and we can attach video to it. We worked out a deal with the software company that we use for our report writing and the recording company to where they’ve linked their two systems so now everything is completed in a nice, clean package. So you’ll have a report, photos, and video all burned to one DVD and that’s what we use if we have to go to court.

How do you go about tracking and identifying known or suspected cheaters who may try to enter the facility?

We keep a database here through a facial recognition program and then we have a networking system built up with other casinos so we network on a daily basis with them. We’re tracking them throughout the country and even outside the country. I talk to Australia on occasion and other countries these people visit and so forth. We try to track them on every move they make.

How does your facial recognition system work?

We’ll enter their faces into the system and then we have prepositioned cameras throughout our complex. As people walk in, the cameras take a look at everyone and if there is a match, it will alert us that there is a match and give us a percentage of who it thinks the person is. Then we’ll physically pull the camera up and make our own determination from that point.

Do you use your CCTV system for any practical uses outside of the gaming or money handling areas?

We’re implementing areas now for more customer service usage. We’ll have people counting, so if there is a line to long at a cashier station we’ll be able to alert a department that they need more people. We can use CCTV for a variety of different purposes and that’s where the technology pays for itself in other ways that it wasn’t able to in the past.

Has the approach that casinos have taken to surveillance changed over the years and are they leading the way as far as implementing new technologies are concerned?

I can speak for us. Absolutely! I have a tribal council here that backs me up 100 percent on wanting to remain state-of-the-art, so as long as I can justify the return to them, they’re very eager to stay state-of-the-art . They rely very, very heavily on the surveillance department to protect their assets so they’re willing to spend the money to make sure we have the equipment we need to do that. That’s more common, I would say, in area of tribal casinos. They put more money and more technology into their surveillance than some of the public casinos, but that’s just one type of difference between public and tribal casinos.

Are you currently doing anything to improve your surveillance system?

We revamp our system quite often. We’re always searching and testing other products in other areas to see if there’s anything new and emerging out there that we would like to add to our system. We work very closely with some major manufactures on developing new products and also new ways to use their equipment in the casino industries. We’re probably one of the largest beta testing sites for a lot of major manufacturing companies in the industry. We welcome companies to bring in new technologies to use, let us play around with it, let us determine if we feel it’s something that’s going to be good for the industry or not.