When Hurricane Katrina, followed by Hurricane Rita, slammed across the Gulf Coast, they destroyed more than just property. The lives of the area’s residents and workers, including 14,000 casino workers, were badly damaged as well. Now, with the rebuilding of the area’s commercial industries and establishments must come the rebuilding of the community as well.

According to Cynthia Freschi of North American Video and a Security Magazine columnist, bringing the gaming industry back to life on the Gulf Coast has been a priority for the business community. Since casinos are an integral part of the local economy, both through tourism and support of residents whose livelihood depends on the existence of the casinos, officials have worked to expedite the reopening process.

There have been many challenges along the way. Thousands of people left the region after the flood, some temporarily but many permanently. In addition to personnel and housing issues, the area is affected by infrastructure issues. Commercial infrastructure was heavily damaged by the storms.

Taking a positive attitude, some businesses have taken the opportunity to replace aging systems and update to the newest technology throughout all systems. Several properties will opt to install new digital recording and IP-based systems to replace older VHS-based media. State-of-the-art enterprise level networked digital recording solutions will take the place of many of the analog-based systems from before Katrina.

For example, North American Video has been contracted by Edwards Electric, a Yates company, to provide services to one of the largest Gulf casinos, MGM/ Mirages Beau Rivage. The property is rebuilding its entire facility to pre-Katrina condition in the same location. While some infrastructure will be salvaged wherever possible, with careful attention to evaluation and testing, the casino will rebuild virtually its entire video surveillance system from end to end, employing the newest technologies including a matrix switching system fully integrated with networked digital video recording systems. The new system includes over 1,200 video surveillance cameras integrated to an enterprise network video recorder solution along with two new matrix switching systems. The new video surveillance and security system is believed to be one of the largest and most sophisticated installations in the region.

Benchmarking Program:

For confidential information about participating in upcoming benchmarking programs related to security investment and measurement, send your contact information to benchmarking@bnpmedia.com. Information regarding the 2007 program will be distributed in late 2006.