HD cameras protect Muscogee Nation casinos

Avigilon surveillance solutions deployed to watch over tribal assets

Hybrid Solution Safeguards Against Threats

With 11 casinos bringing in between $5 to $15 million annually and the larger properties pulling in well over $15 million each year, Muscogee (Creek) Nation faces, many security challenges from gang-related violence, money laundering, drugs, and machine cheats to employee theft and collusion. “Responsible for the safety and security of all our operations, security personnel monitor all areas of the casino including the main floor, all cash-handling areas, back of the house, kitchen, break room, and kiosks around the clock,” said Waggnor. “We rely heavily on our surveillance system to help us.” With so much at stake, Muscogee (Creek) Nation wanted the most advanced surveillance system possible, but in a cost-effective solution. To leverage its investment in existing camera technology, the OPG chose to deploy Avigilon analog video encoders at six of its casinos to improve system performance and gain the increased functionality of the Avigilon Control Center NVMS with High-Definition Stream Management™ (HDSM) technology. “Using the Avigilon Control Center software, we can zoom in four times and still capture good image quality – with our old system, we couldn’t zoom in at all.” In the next phase of deployment, the OPG will migrate its remaining casinos to Avigilon and replace old analog surveillance cameras with high-definition cameras. The OPG also installed Avigilon Network Video Recorders to store up to 14 days of surveillance video. The system is monitored live 24/7 in control rooms located at each casino.

Easy Installation Saves Time

The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system was also easy to install, a particularly important factor because the process was managed by an internal team of technicians. “We had the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system 100 percent operational in just two days,” noted Waggnor. As an added benefit, the OPG was able to save valuable space in its server room at the One Fire Casino by reducing the number of racks needed for storage by 75 percent. Waggnor contends that with Avigilon Control Center software at their fingertips, surveillance officers can be more effective in their job. “We are tasked with a huge responsibility because we have to monitor patrons, employees, gangs, operational procedures, and more,” he explained. With its ease-of-installation and simple user interface, the Avigilon solution has facilitated the task of surveillance. “We keep waiting for something to go wrong, but nothing has. We are very happy with the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system.”

Reducing Employee Theft

The casino environment attracts all types of criminality, but for the Muskogee (Creek) Nation, the biggest threat is employee theft. In fact, collusion between employees and patrons, in which employees pay a hand that did not win or stack the deck, costs the casinos the most in lost revenue. “We monitor for employee theft and collusion every day and have a 90 percent investigation success rate,” asserted Waggnor.

Monitoring for Procedural Compliance

As a regulatory arm of the NIGC, the OPG must also ensure that operational procedures are being followed by casino employees. The NIGC outlines Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS), which require all gaming tribes to implement internal control systems to regulate the movement of cash, gaming tables, and slot machine operations. “MICS violations can result in costly fines if not properly addressed, so we rely on the image clarity and search capabilities of the Avigilon system to quickly investigate and report potential violations to avoid being fined,” Waggnor acknowledged.