With surging crowds at casinos, security is an important issue that cannot be neglected. The practical functions of digital surveillance are welcomed by casinos. The following two case studies exemplify how high-tech and IP surveillance play an important role in safeguarding visitors as well as proprietors.
Admiral Casino, Mendrisio
High-tech and user-friendliness in video surveillance
The casino wanted the surveillance system to represent the same amount of high-tech and user-friendliness it offered its customers. The casino's management had a clear goal: a complete video system incorporating redundancy with minimal downtime, 24-hour recording with enough storage to meet the 28 days of required by Swiss law. Additionally, the management demanded the integration of the existing PTZ dome cameras.
Dallmeier's approach to solving a problem is always based on the so-called HSCES. This stands for High Secure Central Encoding Storage, which means high-availability storage directly at the encoder. Recording is network-independent; therefore, it remains intact even in disturbances or a complete network failure. There is no single-point-of-failure, which means that the failure of an individual component would not cause a breakdown of the entire system.
At the Admiral Casino in Mendrisio, all cameras record for 28 days on Dallmeier DIS-2/M recorders with two 400-GB hard disks and a frame rate of 12.5 fps. In addition, individual cameras record on a DIS-2/M with a 250-GB hard disk for seven days, at a frame rate of 25 fps.
SeMSy, the Security Management System by Dallmeier, enables easy operation and administration of several media data streams and provides live-rendering and recording of video and audio data at any point in a networked system. Open interfaces allow the integration of the existing PTZ dome cameras into the system. The Admiral Casino Mendrisio is already well-equipped for future requirements today since additional network components can be integrated into the network at later points in time without limitations.
Another advantage of SeMSy is that it can easily be customized in order to fulfil the individual requirements of the client. Therefore, it was not only possible to personalize the graphical user interface but to also add new functions which provided the Swiss casino with the precise software solution they required.
Before the system was handed over to the customer, it was set up and thoroughly tested in Dallmeier's FAT Center (Factory Acceptance Test) at the manufacturing facility in Regensburg.
Next, the entire system was installed and commissioned at the customer's premises through the local system integrator Vitcom SA in cooperation with our authorized branch office Divinet. After successful testing, the video signals were switched outside the casino's operating hours, which interrupted recording for only about 15 seconds.
High investment protection
All Dallmeier systems are of modular design. Whether it is hard or software components, it does not matter: The modular design keeps the system open to new technologies and possibilities at any time. In case of an expansion, it is not necessary to change the existing hardware because add-on modules can easily be installed.
With the Dallmeier solution, the Admiral Casino Mendrisio now has an innovative management system, which can be customized to meet the casino's individual needs and offers flexibility and scalability in order to fulfil future requirements.
CCTV Safeguards Revenue in Casinos
Compared with other buildings and complexes, casinos have unique security requirements. The combination of large crowds, huge amounts of cash on site and the threat of cheating and theft leads to a potentially volatile environment. Whether to prevent petty cheating, theft or organized crime by visitors or staff, the need for thorough and effective surveillance is a primary requirement. Surveillance acts first as a deterrent; secondly, as a means of detection and apprehension; and ultimately, prosecution. Security staff have an important dual role here a visible presence in the gaming areas and behind the scenes observing live and recorded video content to identify any suspicious activity.
The CCTV chain begins with the camera. Numerous types of camera are available today with many impressive features. Bosch offers a range of fixed, dome and PTZ models suitable for casinos. Especially applicable for low-light conditions often found in a casino, Boschˇs DinionXF cameras feature XF-Dynamic, which uses 15-bit DSP technology to capture the entire dynamic range of a scene. This means that activities in areas of bright lights or in dark shadows are captured effectively. Other features, many enabled by digital technology, further enhance basic camera functionality such as miniaturization, motion detection, day/night operation, backlight compensation, dynamic noise reduction plus remote and automatic lens control.
Recording and Playback
Some countries have mandatory regulations on the recording speed of video content in casinos. In the U.S., the minimum required recording speed of a surveillance system is 20 fps. Only digital technology can enable recording at this speed with the DVR, which also allows connection of multiple cameras. There can be thousands of cameras in a large casino and the key word, therefore, is ¨capacity.〃 Boschˇs DiBos Digital Video Recorder and Transmission System employs new compression techniques based on the MPEG-4 standard and with hard disk drive capacities of up to 600 GB, enough capacity for up to 10 weeks of continuous recording. DiBos also provides tamperproof storage that answers the legal need for preventing image editing without being detected, and the provision of video evidence in a court of law.
The benefits of digital surveillance are many. At the camera level, the scalability of an IP-based system grows from a single camera to thousands in single unit increments, compared with 16-camera or channel steps for DVRs. In addition, any camera can be provided with any frame rate at any time, and frame rate and storage capacity can be increased simply by adding hard drives and PC servers. Moreover, IP allows ¨intelligent〃 functionality of cameras, such as motion detection, sensor input, relay output and alarm triggering; faster system integration allowing one network that controls audio, video and data; remote accessibility of live or stored video streams from any location, and increased reliability through real-time management software.
IP-based security systems employ a NVR rather than a DVR. The NVR is an intelligent video server that feeds the data streams of all digital video sources or analog cameras into the network and stores the content on a hard disk. In addition to video, an NVR also records audio and from any camera in the system and plays back to any monitor. Boschˇs VIDOS-NVR supports up to 64 video streams simultaneously over a single PC server. A feature of the VIDOS-NVR is Boschˇs Automatic Network Replenishment (ANR), a patent-pending technology that ensures seamless and gapless video recording even in the event of network failure.