Recording for Casinos

March 30, 2009
Standards and regulations drive quality equipment specs

When Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel on a nearly deserted strip of land called Las Vegas in 1947 his crime counterparts thought he was crazy. Of course they certainly wouldn't tell him so. Some 62 years later the Flamingo, t he Rat Pack's Desert Inn and many of those original haunts have vanished and in their stay mega resorts and shopping destinations.

Gaming has changed substantially since those early days of cards, table craps and roulette. Even slot machines are high-tech with touchscreens and the likes. And the cheaters and con artists are increasingly sophisticated as well.

As the market has changed so has the need for new solutions in surveillance and recording. For those integrators who know the market, what standards they need to comply with and the equipment that casinos have dictated follows the rules based on capabilities—they can definitely come out ahead.

Las Vegas and other Nevada cities have some of the most stringent regulations for video surveillance and recording in the gaming industry, according to Luke Lee, business manager for NUVICO, Englewood , N.J. Often times, other gaming entities look to Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) standards, he said. Nevada 's Gaming Commission Regulation is referred to as 5.160(2) Surveillance Standards for Nonrestricted Licensees . The NGC is a state governmental agency founded in 1959. The Commission is responsible for administering regulations, granting licenses and ruling on disciplinary matters brought before it by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

If it meets Nevada 's criteria, it's almost assured the equipment can meet regulations anywhere, according to Mike Kim, regional sales manager for the Western Region of NUVICO in Torrance , Calif.

Kim said NUVICO works in a consultative manner with the casino and gaming boards and regulators to assure that their digital video recorders meet or exceed regulations. “Last November the NGC approved the use of the NUVICO APEX™ recorder,” he added.

According to the NGA Standard 11— Digital Video Recording Standards , all DVR equipment and systems used by a licensee in their surveillance system must meet the following criteria:

• Be capable of recording and thereafter, being viewed, at a minimum of 30 images per second (30 fps), full screen, in real time.

• Have visual resolution of sufficient clarity to meet all published Surveillance Standards .

• Maintain for a period of not less than seven days all images obtained from the video cameras.

• Have a failure notification system that provides an audible, as well as a visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system or the DVR media storage system.

• Have a media storage system (RAID or mirrored storage) that is configured so a failure of any single component will not result in the loss of any data from the media storage system.

• Authentication or watermark feature to ensure the authenticity of the recording.

“The APEX product has huge potential in casinos across the U.S. ,” Kim continued. “It's a big plus for the integrator when they don't have to go through a lengthy approval process for equipment.”