Needless to say, video surveillance plays a critical role in casino operations. Choosing the right camera, then, becomes important in helping operators achieve their various objectives.Needless to say, video surveillance plays a critical role in casino operations. Choosing the right camera, then, becomes important in helping operators achieve their various objectives.
Globally, the gambling industry is on the rise. According to a recent report by ResearchandMarkets, the global gambling market is expected to reach revenues of over US$525 billion by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 4 percent from 2017 to 2023.
While it’s said that visitors of casinos never win, providing them with a pleasant gaming experience nevertheless is still a top priority for operators. Meanwhile, they are also in constant need to protect themselves against cheating or fraudulent activities by, for example, card counters as shown in various movies. Further, operators need to ensure that there isn’t overcrowding, that no fights break out, and that thieves/alleged criminals are accounted for.
This is where casinos rely on video surveillance to achieve those objectives. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global casino management system market size was valued at $3.4 billion in 2016 and is expected to register a CAGR exceeding 14 percent from 2017 to 2025. The report further suggested security and surveillance was the largest segment in 2016 and accounted for over 22 percent of the overall market.
Given the importance of video surveillance in casinos, how should the operator determine what camera to use? There are certain factors to consider, and they are summarized as follows.
All of us who have been to Las Vegas or other entertainment-oriented metropolises know that casinos tend to be dark. Having IR capabilities in the camera will allow identification of individuals in poorly lit or totally dark areas. Further, there may be certain spots in the casino with sharp lighting contrasts; certain visitors may stand in spots with strong backlighting, rendering their faces totally darkened. Cameras with good wide-dynamic range capabilities, then, are preferred.
According to a recent blogpost by 2MCCTV, IP or network security cameras are more reliable and can record in higher resolutions. “Additionally, choosing power over Ethernet cameras will make installation and maintenance of your security surveillance system easier. This combination will help keep cabling and wiring down to a minimum as the devices receive signal and power over the same cord,” it said.
For network cameras there are different types, for example box, dome and PTZ. Among them, PTZ gives the best control as the operator can pan, tilt or zoom in on a particular subject. Having PTZ cameras, then, is preferred in a casino setting. Meanwhile, the camera should be vandal-proof as it may be a subject for vandalism by criminals or simply those that are too drunk.
Face recognition’s role in casinos is significant. It can identify blacklisted visitors or those who are alleged criminals, thus allowing the operator to deny them entry. For the longest time, facial recognition has been run on backend servers, but more and more this process capability has migrated to the edge, namely in the camera itself, to minimize network traffic and latency issues.
According to the post, some important key areas the operator may want to consider installing security cameras are entrances, cashier areas, open areas and above the gambling floor. “These are the areas that are visited the most frequently and have the most potential for an incident,” the 2MCCTV post said.