Casinos looking for extra values from network video surveillance
Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s International | Updated: 5/26/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics
The mindset of casino operators toward new technologies is generally more conservative, compared to other market sectors. Casinos are reluctant to risk adopting new surveillance technology until its reliability is proven, due to the costs involved in shutting down VIP tables or alienatingwealthy players during retrofiting. “Almost all are migrating to hybrid or pure IP. New ‘greenfield' installs might be pure IP but most are expansions or retrofits, and those favor hybrids,” explained Mike Scirica, President of WavestoreUSA.
“Casinos are more likely to make new investments at high budgetary figures; however, slow to update existing systems — they generally try and maximize their investment over long periods of time and update as necessary. Casinos look for systems that can be upgraded and modernized over time rather than invest in a system that will become insufficient for their security requirements and have to be replaced [if this information is known at the time of purchase],” according to Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer, DVTel. But, just like other sectors, none of the casino operators want to fall behind either, even though the latest security technology is very expensive.
“It is easier to promote IP-based surveillance in Western and Northern Europe, as these are two of the markets that started to go for IP-based products in the very beginning. They want to be able to record high resolution pictures, and easily distinguish the color of the chips; therefore, they are very willing to adopt new technology such as 60fps, etc. in their casinos,” explained Tom Li, Technical Support Manager of Europe at Hikvision Digital Technology.
It does not matter if it is a retrofit project looking for upgrades and migration to IP-based, or a newly-built casino considering adopting full-IP surveillance, all the casinos' operators want to make sure that other than high-resolution images, the investment in network video surveillance can bring them extra values. As a matter of fact, there are some new security technologies, such as video analytics and video-centric integrated systems that are about to be used by some current casinos, along with the adoption of network video surveillance.
Since high-resolution pictures are widely available now, casino operators have the option to adopt analytics software into their surveillance systems. “This could involve using license plate recognition to flag when high rollers have arrived at the casino, or point-of-sales analytics to monitor employees and card-monitoring technology to manage tables, dealers, and gamblers, which could greatly reinforce casinos' ability to manage the business,” suggested Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems. Similar to license plate recognition, analytics can be used to identify card values and suits with a high degree of accuracy, John Katnic, VP of Global Gaming at Synectics commented.
“A casino operator could use video todetermine pedestrian traffic patterns to see if a particular bank of slot machines were getting played or if there was any pedestrian traffic actually stopping to look at the machines and then move on,” said Scott A. Bartlett, CEO of Southwest Surveillance Systems. “In a customer service role, the operator could use video to detect lines for a cage to ensure the line did not get too long, once the line reached a certain number of patrons, it could trigger an alarm and alert the cage manager to add another cashier.”
Operators in the casino industry are often looking for an efficient way to single out flagged recordings from hundreds or thousands of cameras, because certain kinds of crimes cannot be spotted by human eyes, but can through data analysis.
In fact, there are numerous systems generating data in casinos constantly. If all that data could be integrated with video, it would be much more efficient to spot suspicious events. For example, with all the time attendance, access control, and gaming data available, the operators can set up the systems to send out an alert and trigger nearby video monitors if someone tries to swipe their cards three times in-a-row unsuccessfully.
“Today's surveillance operators want ways to bring enterprise-wide alarm, transactional and video data together, filter out benign activity and then quickly drill into suspicious activities that matter or indicate a true threat,” Katnic stated. “When access control, player, slot-to-time clock data, for example, are directly linked to video in one fully integrated system, operators can observe, analyze, and react more efficiently and appropriately. That saves, time, money, and even lives.”
“Gallagher Security has been working closely with a number of casinos in Macau utilizing the Gallagher central management platform. This platform enables customers to interface and integrate a number of different systems and applications including digital video surveillance. The developments in control centers have become very important to reduce risks and manage information with effective process mechanisms and appropriate training in place. The scale and flexibility of the access control and alarms event management with digital video surveillance enables staff to keep areas secure, monitor key areas, and respond quickly to potential or actual incidents,” according to Peter Francis, Regional Manager for Asia and Middle East in Gallagher Security.
Although the casino industry is one of the vertical markets that is more hesitant on migrating to full-IP surveillance systems, they have come to realize that IP-based products can offer numerous added-value functions, making management more efficient. This should help the security industry see a robust increase in network surveillance systems adoption in the casino industry in the coming years.
# What they say about surveillance market in casino industry #
How IP Storage Benefits Casinos
“Casinos undertake high volume financial activities that are similar to financial organizations, but in an entertainment context. A lot of criminal interests such as money laundering and cheating are aroused and casinos need to protect themselves from the vulnerabilities and they are more willing to adopt new technologies such as casino chips, casino cheques, currency exchange, employee complicity, high-end surveillance systems, etc. IP SAN best fits into video surveillance application for the perfect balance among cost, manageability, and performance. Due to the increasing need for longer retention time and higher resolutions for video recordings, it's becoming crucial to provide high performance IP SAN with scale-up capacity,” mentioned Daniel Lin, Sales Director of Qsan Technology.
Network Video Surveillance Keeps Improving Latency Time
“In the gaming world the ability to view live video and effectively trace a suspect through a property is a vital product feature set – gaming is primarily about surveillance, rather than security application,” explained Jason Oakley, CEO of North American Video. “It is worth noting that many of the leading technology providers have invested heavily to find a solution that reduces latency time with IP PTZ's. Some manufacturers claim that their latency rate is less than 100 milliseconds, which is noticeable to the untrained eye, this can reduce the demand for analog PTZ's in certain applications.”
Panoramic and 360-Degree Technologies
“Casinos are looking for more panoramic and 360-degree technologies. Because they can cover more area more efficiently with less staff. Now casinos on the forefront of technology have mixed megapixel panoramic technology and PTZ cameras with instant access to recorded video that cut down on review times and time spent figuring out how someone went from a known location to an unknown location,” said Mitch Fagundes, Director of Global Business Development at Arecont Vision.