Catching Cheats with Advance Systems

Catching Cheats with Advance Systems

Casinos from all over the globe are updating their infrastructure to secure themselves from physical and financial threats.

Italian Casino Selects March Networks
The Casino de la Vallée in Saint-Vincent, which operates 400 slot machines, 96 gaming tables, a restaurant and a 220-room hotel, recently upgraded to a fully digital video surveillance system to enhance surveillance of all gaming areas, counting rooms, entrances/exits and other public spaces. Deploying more than 380 network cameras and VMS, control room staff can use integrated site maps and preset camera tours to monitor activities in real time, and quickly search and analyze recorded video in response to specific incidents.

“In a casino environment where sleight of hand can occur in a millisecond, every video frame is critical, and system reliability is of paramount importance,” said Paolo Magalini, Mega Italia, March Networks' certified provider working with Casino de la Vallée.

The solution provides the casino with quality video at frame rates of up to 30 fps. HD cameras capture clear images with vivid color, as well as associated audio, while PTZ cameras with optical zoom enable detailed surveillance. Both types of cameras feature H.264 video compression and PoE functionality, significantly reducing bandwidth, storage requirements and simplifying installation. The cameras and system servers also provide reliability through high-capacity internal camera storage, RAID-5 server configurations and redundant storage to protect against network failures.

Hikvision Watches over Morocco's Premier
Gambling Venue The five-star Atlantic Palace Hotel in Agadir, Morocco required cameras throughout to provide quality images that would allow video analytics to report on visitor movement from table to table, footfall, and frequency of machine usage in the event of abnormal payouts.

The system was implemented by Moroccan integrator CST Centre Sécurité et Traitement. Megapixel cameras with varifocal lenses and high-resolution video preview were used for the project.

A platform which supports HD multiscreen preview and playback is crucial in gaming environments, where pit bosses must settle disputes running to thousands of dollars according to the denomination or color of a single card or the positioning of chips. An IP network that functions with minimal transmission delay, together with smooth PTZ cameras free of any time lag, was required by the casino. Image delay or degradation due to limitations in the performance of cameras, telemetry or NVRs was not acceptable.

Minimizing Disruption The initial challenge was to integrate the IP domes and megapixel cameras with the VMS and analytics software. Compression boards were used, which enabled H.264 compression and variable bit rate coding without compromising image quality or inducing data loss from legacy third-party analog cameras. Security staff at the casino have already noticed the longer recording times, system reliability and reduced maintenance cost since optimizing RAID usage.

With the help of better storage and analytics, the ROI has been almost immediate, since tables no longer needed to be shut down while management reviews disputes.

Choctaw's Tribal Leaders Seek Axis for IP Solution
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma wanted to expand its casino operations, and the tribal leaders were looking to modernize their security systems. They sought an open, IP-based solution that would provide secure, evidentiary-quality video recordings, operate at 30 fps and be easy to set up and expand without major expenses or disruptions of gaming activities.

Choctaw Nation's own team worked with Axis' partners, ConnectionsIT and CameraWatch Technologies, to install an array of Axis fixed dome and PTZ network cameras on the casinos' fiber backbone to monitor back-of-house hallways, money areas, building exteriors, parking lots and high-stake gaming areas.

Choctaw's Challenges
The casinos' legacy analog cameras were a hindrance in working with local law enforcement, due to the images' insufficient resolution to be acceptable in court. Also, the VCR tapes wore out over time, and video had to be played back repeatedly over several days or weeks during an investigation.

Another challenge in the deployment was the extreme light variations, and they sought cameras that could react quickly to lighting changes without compromising image quality.

Axis network cameras were able to record at 30 fps, a standard that exceeds the guidelines set by the National Indian Gaming Commission. Both M-JPEG and H.264 compression formats allow the casinos to affordably maintain 14 days of archival storage. PoE saves the casinos on installation costs, and the advanced image processing delivers crisp images in low lighting as well as glaring brightness. The automatic iris control changes the lens aperture to maintain optimum light level to the image sensor.

Casinos Bet on Applied DNA
Casinos from Las Vegas to Macau are taking better care of their poker chips, playing cards and other potential targets of crafty counterfeiters with unique detection protocols.

Small and large casinos may have found their solution against thievery in a two-part system combining advanced security inks with botanical DNA. With its high-profile casino clients suffering fraud's sting, distributor Palm Gaming International contacted H.W. Sands and Applied DNA Sciences to create their unique gaming chips.

With Applied DNA's trademark DNA and Sands' unique ink markers, casino properties are protected by an easily detected and completely forgery-proof security blanket.

The DNA and marker a re integrated into the printed insert layer of a gaming chip, such as the logo. An ultraviolet fob light can then be used to quickly authenticate the chip and sniff out fake chips smuggled in by cheaters.

"We put our DNA into a security ink that allows for a rapid scan that can be done with a handheld detector,” said Janice Meraglia, spokeswoman for Applied DNA. "It's a lock-and-key technology — not just the encrypted genome, but the two parts you need together to make it work."

Visimetric's DVR Evidence Helps Conviction
Recorded images play a vital part and can be used from dispute resolution right through to identifying cheating or theft.

Last year, two poker cheats were arrested at the London Clubs International's The Casino at The Empire, with the help of DVR evidence.

During two visits to the casino, seven cheat moves were noted by surveillance staff. Real-time evidence exported directly from the recorders, containing images from both fixed and PTZ cameras, were handed to the police on a movie format DVD. The evidence was shown to the suspects during an interview, and both subsequently pleaded guilty to cheating at gambling when they appeared at the Westminster Magistrates Court in June.

“The clarity of the images we obtained undoubtedly contributed to the guilty pleas entered, and underlines the efficacy of both the surveillance team and the technology that backs them up,” said Doug Reeman, Head of Security and Money-Laundering Reporting Officer for London Clubs.

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