Market Focus: Casino Security

March 15, 2011

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino
The historic Golden Gate Hotel & Casino has chosen IndigoVision’s High Definition (HD) IP Video technology for a surveillance upgrade, in what is believed to be the first ever casino to install a complete HD gaming floor. Established in 1906, the casino is located on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. The “Fremont Street Experience” is right outside the more than 100-year-old casino’s door.
“The clarity and detail that the HD cameras will deliver will transform our surveillance operation,” says Greg Stevens, Golden Gate’s Co-Owner. “The solution delivers 30fps, 720p high-quality HD video with a guarantee of no lost frames under any circumstances, including low-light conditions, which are typical on casino floors. The use of HD cameras in covert locations for crisp face shots will also enhance the use of facial recognition software and make it much more viable to thwart known cheats.”
The 99-camera system will completely replace the existing analog/DVR equipment and be installed in full compliance with the local Gaming Board by IndigoVision’s Authorized Partner and gaming specialist, Southwest Surveillance. As the Gaming Board mandates no-loss recording at 30fps, the system’s video guarantee means that the casino will not need to rely on secondary analog or standard definition cameras in parallel with the HD cameras for compliance.
The use of full-frame-rate HD surveillance cameras in a gaming environment is compelling. Operators will be able to clearly recognize individual faces and distinguish between card suits and chip values. This will make it easier to identify potential cheats and to resolve disputes quickly — a benefit for both the customer and the casino.
“Another advantage of the new system will be the ability to view live or recorded video remotely, not just from a workstation in another part of the casino,” Stevens says. “This is a major benefit for me to be able to personally keep an eye on my casino operations 24/7.”
Recording is achieved using the supplier’s standalone NVR-AS 3000 Network Video Recorders (NVRs). Each NVR is configured with RAID 5 disks and redundant power supplies, creating a resilient and fault tolerant video storage solution. The NVRs record all 99 camera streams directly from the network at full frame-rate and provide a minimum seven-day archive for the gaming floor.
The casino uses real-time motion analytics to reduce the bandwidth and storage requirement from back-office cameras and to provide continuous remote monitoring of alleys, rooftops and other remote areas. Any motion detected will automatically alert the operators and display the video from the appropriate camera. Activity Controlled Frame rate (ACF) is a unique feature that streams lower framerate video when the camera scene is inactive. When any motion is detected the video is automatically transmitted at the maximum configured frame rate. This can considerably reduce the amount of video that is transmitted across the network and stored on the NVRs.

Jerry’s Nugget Casino
Jerry’s Nugget Casino, a Las Vegas hallmark since 1964, has deployed intelligent networked video recording solutions using video lifecycle management (VLM) systems from TimeSight Systems. The installation provides full coverage leveraging Basler’s high-resolution IP-based megapixel cameras around the facility, covering all aspects of the property from retail to safety, and to the regulated gaming environment.
“We had a number of objectives in mind when refreshing our surveillance system, with the key goals being truly forensic-quality video as well as extended retention to protect our business against all types of loss including regulatory fines, liability, shrinkage and other types of crime,” says Jeremy Stamis, General Manager of Jerry’s Nugget. “With the TimeSight system, in combination with megapixel cameras, we have an surveillance environment that greatly reduces our risk as well as our cost, in addition to freeing up valuable space by reducing our equipment footprint by almost ninety percent.”
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
Honeywell’s newest IP video technology has been integrated with analog video and IT systems at the Las Vegas City Center. All the technology is managed under a single software platform, Honeywell’s MAXPRO® VMS (video-management system).
The massive CityCenter complex, which is the largest privately funded construction project in U.S. history, is an 18-million square-foot facility spread over 67 acres. The Honeywell video system, installed by integrator North American Video, captures data from CityCenter’s parking and retail locations, as well as the ARIA Resort and Casino, which includes more than 4,000 hotel rooms, 10 bars and lounges, and a 150,000 square-foot gaming space with 145 table games and 1,940 server-based slot machines. The VMS enables personnel to quickly retrieve and view video from any camera to pinpoint and resolve issues as they arise. The system’s distributed hardware network design enables operators to easily choose video feeds to view from the surveillance equipment room, instead of pulling through all video feeds at once.
“Most newer facilities today will use a mix of both analog and IP video technology, but the key to maximizing their advantages is being able to manage both with a single platform,” says Ron Rothman, president, Honeywell Security Group. “CityCenter is a perfect example of how to bridge the analog-IP gap in a way that enhances safety and security and improving operational efficiency.”
The surveillance system includes equipment such as 360-degree IP cameras used to cover the casino floor, as well as megapixel cameras that can capture identification shots of people travelling between different areas. Additionally, CityCenter recently implemented the supplier’s HD3MDIP fixed mini-dome network camera, which is ideal for casino floors due to its superior picture quality and ability to capture high-definition images in variable conditions, including low lighting. It can also reduce the number of cameras needed to monitor table games.
CityCenter also is using Honeywell’s Integrated Data Manager (IDM) offering that ties data from point-of-sales systems, slot machines and cash counters back to the VMS. For example, security personnel can review cash handling from anywhere within the facility, and conduct both post-forensic and real-time analysis.

The Mirage
Marks USA’s Custom Lockset Division has manufactured solid stainless steel Grade 1 leversets for more than 3,000 rooms at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
The use of such an unusual design was only fitting for a building as beautiful and timeless as The Mirage. The locksets are manufactured from metals using mixes of virgin and 10-percent recycled metals (post-consumer) to reduce environmental impacts from extracting and processing virgin materials.

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