Phoenix casino installs new IP camera system

Phoenix, in the heart of Arizona, enjoys an average of 312 days of sunshine per year, which is why the region is also often called the "Valley of the Sun". No wonder that Vee Quiva Casino is also seeing a bright future ahead of it, as one the most advanced and innovative video surveillance systems in the US is currently being installed there. German CCTV/IP specialist Dallmeier, whose know-how and experience has already been appreciated by more than 50 casinos worldwide, provided the necessary technology.

Vee Quiva Casino is located just a few miles outside of Downtown Phoenix. Its offering of 800 slot machines, an extensive Bingo facility as well as numerous poker and black jack tables invite guests to gamble and stay. Those who get an appetite from gambling can enjoy a meal at the recently opened Estrella Deli. Regular events and promotions ensure that boredom has no chance.

Vee Quiva Casino is one of three casinos owned and operated by the Gila River Indian Community, the largest indigenous community in the Phoenix metropolitan area. For many years, the security executives of the casino have been searching for a new video surveillance system – the system previously used is meanwhile outdated.

Shawn Carlos, Surveillance Director for Gila River Gaming Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of Gila River Casinos: "We previously used an analog VHS system. Regularly exchanging the video tapes was just too much of an effort and we also were no longer satisfied with the quality of the recorded images. We have long been looking for an alternative solution – with Dallmeier we finally found the right partner."

Visiting the Barona Casino
Initial personal contact between Dallmeier and the management of Vee Quiva Casino was made at the ISC West Las Vegas in March of 2007. The product display was compelling and shortly after both parties met again to visit the first real-time CCTV/IP system with digital matrix ever installed in the US at the Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino in San Diego. Since its commissioning in 2006, the system with more than 1,200 channels has been operating to the full satisfaction of the customer.

Vee Quiva Casino executives were also convinced by the technology. Communications Technician Darris Pedro: "The technology used by Dallmeier was simply outstanding and by far exceeded everything we had seen so far. However, in the end our decision for Dallmeier was based on three main points: failure safety, user-friendliness and the possibility to integrate existing systems."

Decision criterion 1: High failure safety
Like the Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Vee Quiva Casino also opted for the Dallmeier DIS-2/M, a modular recording and transmission system for mounting and operating in a 19'' module rack. Owing to its flexible structure the DIS-2/M is ideally suited for monitoring critical casino areas, where a high quality of recording and real-time transmission in compact fashion are essential (broadcast quality).

The DIS-2/M records directly onto the integrated storage and thus ensures a maximum availability even in the case of network problems or failures. Thereby Dallmeier guarantees the highest availability of its comprehensive solution because there is no single-point-of-failure. This in turn means that the failure of an individual component would not cause a breakdown of the whole system.

With all digital hard-disk recorders for casino solutions Dallmeier exclusively uses Linux, which is considered to be extremely reliable. In order to further enhance stability the operating system was separated from the hard disks and stored on a Flash-ROM. Additionally, voltage supply of the recorders is also ensured since the power supply units are redundant.

Through the use of advanced technology and intelligent modular design, the Dallmeier video systems achieve an availability of 99.99994% - such values are not even reached with highly expensive storage systems.

Decision criterion 2: Easy operation
"Naturally, our surveillance personnel initially had some doubts as to whether the operation of a new system would remain as easy as with the previous installation," Carlos states. When the surveillance team at Vee Quiva Casino learned that the Dallmeier solutions employs the most advanced and sophisticated technology but is still operator friendly, it was an easy implementation.

This is possible thanks to the SeMSy® (Security Management System) management system which allows for the convenient and effortless control of the entire installation. Control of individual cameras is very easy and clearly structured because the building plans of Vee Quiva Casino were simply integrated into the software interface. Hence the operator can easily and quickly monitor any desired camera. Numerous automatic surveillance mechanisms and alerts notify the user of any defect, for example the failure of a fan in a recorder.

Decision criterion 3: Integration of existing systems
Thanks to the highly flexible structure and open architecture of all Dallmeier components an integration of third-party products is easily and quickly possible. Darris Pedro: "We already had a few systems in place that we wanted to integrate into the CCTV system, such as our alarm and slot management systems. With the Dallmeier solution that was no problem at all."

Factory Acceptance Test at Dallmeier
In November 2007, following extensive and detailed planning and advice, it was finally time for the Vee Quiva Casino surveillance team to come to Regensburg, Germany, to carry out the acceptance test.

Shawn Carlos was impressed and remembers: "That was really extraordinary. Not only were we able to accept individual devices but actually got to see our complete system." To that end, Dallmeier had installed Vee Quiva Casinos complete system true to the original at its FAT Center. This allowed the surveillance team to test all the components, including the associated network environment, under real conditions.

Competent advice on location
The Dallmeier Casino Project Team is at the customers' disposal during and beyond the commissioning. A branch office and numerous system integrators located across the United States ensure that Vee Quiva Casino always has a contact person available on location.

Future-proof technology
Shawn Carlos: "Investment protection was another key factor for us. It was very important for us to not just have an innovative system now but to be flexible to adjust or expand the system in the future."

That is why all Dallmeier systems are modular in design. Owing to the high flexibility of this concept expansions are easily possible, no matter if it refers to hard- or software components. The modular structure keeps the system open to new technologies and possibilities at any time.