Two casinos share a common name, are just 24 feet from each other, but are located in two separate states. In addition to sharing this unusual distinction, they are both owned by the Quechan Indian Tribe. The Tribe has made a substantial investment in the latest security technology to ensure that their guests can enjoy their visit in a safe environment.
THE TECHNOLOGYThe Arizona-based Paradise Casino is the first of the two to be equipped with a custom built digital video recording system. The system, comprised of 13 servers, is able to record and store real-time high-resolution images from ninety-eight to one hundred cameras located throughout the 30,000 sq. ft. casino.
Twelve of the 13 units offer a massive 3,200MB of internal RAID-5 storage to allow continuous real-time recording. The thirteenth unit has been equipped with internal and external storage that offers 6TB (terabytes) of storage. Operators in the casino’s control room can instantly retrieve recorded video captured by any of the cameras as well as continuing to view live images.
“We had previously used an analog video recording system and we wanted to take advantage of the latest advances in technology,” said Melvin Pastores, surveillance director for Paradise Casino. “Of prime importance was the fact that any new system had to be easy for our operators to use. Our casinos are very popular and at peak times we need to ensure that our operators can effortlessly control the security video system and react appropriately to any incidents.”
THE DECISION TO UPGRADE“We took our time to decide which system to purchase,” added Pastores. “We looked at many different types of systems and suppliers over a two-year period. We see this as a major long-term investment and therefore wanted to make sure we were choosing the best option. There is no doubt in my mind that the package offered with its secure and unlimited storage capacity, high resolution recording and most importantly a method of operation that is ideal for our operators, will prove to be the correct choice for Paradise Casinos.”
Paradise Casino Arizona and Paradise Casino California are owned and operated by the Quechan (pronounced kwat’ san) Indian Nation, and are located on the Fort Yuma Reservation adjacent to Yuma, Arizona and in Winterhaven, California, respectively. The casinos collectively house over 820 slot machines, 15 table games, bingo, live poker, two bars and a 24-hour restaurant. The casinos are known as the region’s leader in live entertainment and exciting promotions.
Installation of the system in the Arizona location was completed in January 2006. Installation of the second system at the California location will begin shortly.
SIDEBAR: Online Gaming: A Security HeadacheIronically, the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), signed into law in mid-October, may create increased problems for U.S. casinos, bank security and law enforcement. U.S. and European Internet gambling sites have somewhat adjusted to the provisions of the new law. Federal law enforcement officials have made a few arrests.
It is estimated that the online gaming business in the U.S. pulls in $12 billion annually.
But UIGEA does not make Internet gambling illegal. Instead, it bans American poker players from using U.S. financial institutions to handle money for their online gaming. Specifically, American players may not use U.S. bank checks, credit cards or wire transfers when depositing or withdrawing money from often off-shore Internet sites. Security officers at banking institutions are charged to monitor such transactions in compliance. Still, bank security executives must await enforcement provisions – a process which will take up to nine months.
Uniquely, the UIGEA was passed inside a Homeland Security Bill, H.R. 4954, called the Port Security Improvement Act. The biggest U.S.-based gaming firms are developing wireless gaming systems within their facilities as they anticipate a retrenchment in the future.