How cameras and video analytics beef up casino security

How cameras and video analytics beef up casino security
For casino operators, money (both cash and chips within the facility), customer data and network infrastructure, such as gaming networks and video surveillance systems, are the assets that require the most protection.
 
Chips are usually tracked with RFID technology to prevent theft and counterfeiting. With RFID, chips carried by guests can be detected by scanners installed at entry and exit points. Cash, on the other hand, is stored in a series of safes in the vaults monitored by surveillance cameras.
 
As for protecting customer data and network infrastructure, casinos tended to adopt a “zero trust” approach, said Kok Tin Gan, a partner in PwC’s Cyber Security & Privacy practice. “Each network segment is isolated and connected with proper security policy … to ensure the whole IT infrastructure has multiple layers of protection,” Gan explained
 
Surveillance cameras also play a critical role in casino security. They help to identify anyone who is not allowed by law to be in casino, like minors and banned individuals, as well as weapons, and devices used for cheating. To provide comprehensive protection, cameras should be capable of face recognition and object identification.
 
Another critical security tool for casinos are pan-tilt-zoom cameras, which David Green, Principal of Newpage Consulting, describes as “integral to the identification of potential money laundering behavior, such as splitting chips to remain under the mandatory transaction reporting threshold.” 

Video analytics

Video analytics have become a must-have tool for advanced surveillance. AJ Frazer, VP of Business Development at Agent Video Intelligence, highlights video analytics’ ability to provide “real-time event detection, video search and graphic visual presentation of valuable data extracted from surveillance footage that can be used for a variety of purposes.” 
 
In a casino, analytics serve two primary purposes: real-time anomaly detection and post-event investigation.
AJ Frazer,
VP of Business Development, 
Agent Video Intelligence

 
Real-time event detection is used largely for parking lots and other high-risk areas. Alerts will be issued upon detection of predefined events, such as loitering and vehicles moving in an unauthorized direction, with security staff immediately notified of suspicious events, allowing them respond in a timely manner.
 
Post-incident investigation is significantly enhanced by automatic search capability. Among other purposes, this allows casinos to verify potentially fraudulent accident compensation claims.
 
“Whereas once, a security team’s time might be heavily occupied by observing hours of footage in search of a specific person or incident, this capability enables operators to run searches automatically, allowing far more effective time usage, reducing search time for a single search from hours to a matter of minutes,” Frazer explained. This allows a security team to stay focused on “proactive tasks and optimize day-to-day efficiency.”

Business intelligence 

Surveillance cameras and video analytics can also be used to garner valuable business intelligence and insights into customer behavior over multiple sites.
 
Heat mapping can tell which areas are more populated and at what times. “This data can then be leveraged in several ways, like negotiating leasing deals for externally-owned casino equipment and knowing which locations require heavier investment of machines and personnel,” Frazer said.
 
Video analytics can also be used to extract valuable information from gaming machines and entry and exit points, such as traffic patterns and footfall data. “Accurate headcounts mean the security team is constantly aware of how many people are on-site,” Frazer said, adding that “this capability provides essential knowledge in the case of an emergency where a facility might need to be evacuated, and also helps prevent overcrowding.”

The future role of cameras in casinos

Surveillance cameras play a critical role in casino security, through helping to detect suspicious events in real-time or for post-event investigation. But as AI develops, advanced facial and object recognition capabilities means they will likely play a critical business intelligence role that goes beyond security in the future.
 


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