Disposal of Old Electronic Business Equipment Should be a Security Concern for Casinos, other Gaming Enterprises

Casinos are no different from other business in at least one respect – they tend to spend millions of dollars on new electronic office equipment and likely pay little attention to the fate of the older devices the new purchases replace.

Each year, companies across the United States and around the world discard millions of tons of antiquated electronic business equipment – everything from printers and computer monitors to copiers and CPUs. Indeed, for personal computers in the U.S. alone, the International Data Corporation estimated a 338.3 million installed base in 2010, with a 20.5-percent annual retirement rate. That translates to 69.35 million throwaway PCs each year – only the tip of electronic hardware trash when one considers the recent proliferation of portable and disposable business devices such as tablets and smart phones.

For the most part, this equipment ends up in dumps and landfills, where it can be a hazard to the environment due to metals and plastics used to construct the electronics and a danger to corporate security because of the information stored and inadequately erased from hard drives and other storage devices.

In response, a nascent industry has developed around the secure data destruction and electronics recycling of outdated IT devices. According to those in this trade, it is already a $5 billion industry within the U.S. and projected to grow exponentially as IT recycling becomes an environmental priority for Fortune 500 companies, government entities and organizations.

Some of these recyclers are starting to target the casino industry for future business. One such company is U.S. Micro Corporation, an Atlanta-based  leader in enterprise IT recycling, which recently unveiled its new $15 million, 130,000-square-foot data destruction and IT recycling center in Las Vegas.

“As technology continues to progress, huge numbers of assets need to be retired regularly and responsibly,” says Jim Kegley, founder and president of U.S. Micro. “Our Las Vegas facility provides the infrastructure necessary to support a more sustainable IT asset lifecycle, guaranteeing that components of retired equipment will be recycled according to EPA guidelines – and never buried in a landfill.”

The next generation facility incorporates cutting-edge environmental and remanufacturing best practices and will come online during the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) conference in Las Vegas this October. Using proprietary technology, U.S. Micro will turn e-waste – including plastics, base metals and CRT glass – into non-volatile materials for construction and finished products such as bicycle racks and outdoor lumber.


Mexico Casino Massacre: Suspects Only Wanted to ‘Scare’ Owners

The five suspects arrested in connection with the attack last week on a casino in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey that left 52 people dead told investigators they did not plan to kill anyone and only wanted to scare the establishment's owners, says an AP report.

The suspects, who have confessed to the attack and are being held under a preventive arrest order while prosecutors build the case against them, were photographed in front of the vehicles they used to carry out the attack on the Casino Royale in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon.

Los Zetas, Mexico's most violent drug cartel, is suspected of ordering the attack on the casino, the report says.

The suspects told investigators they were “scolded” by their bosses for killing so many people at the casino, the report says, which was the target of an extortion racket common in several parts of Mexico.

The suspects have confessed to the casino attack and other crimes, including kidnappings and murders, the report says, adding that physical evidence, such as fingerprints, linked the men to the vehicles used in the attack.

At least 12 people took part in the attack and videos from security cameras show other accomplices who had not been spotted by investigators during the initial review of the footage, De la Garza said.

The casino is owned by Grupo Royale, which has gambling establishments in the cities of Monterrey, Mazatlan, Los Cabos and Escobedo.

Mexico’s federal government completed the deployment of army troops in Monterrey to bolster security in the wake of the attack on the casino. A total of 1,500 Federal Police officers arrived in Monterrey as part of the federal government's efforts to restore order to the industrial city.


Pennsylvania Casino Board Wants Answers to Kids Left in Cars

The Parx Casino in suburban Philadelphia has stepped up patrols and added security cameras in its parking lot to combat the problem of adults leaving children unattended in vehicles while they're gambling. Several members of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said tougher penalties may be the only answer, and Chairman Gregory Fajt said the board will follow up with law-enforcement officials.

Chief counsel Thomas Bonner said the casino, located next to the Philadelphia Park racetrack in Bensalem, has added a second around-the-clock security patrol in the 5,000-space parking lot and a third during peak weekend periods.

The number of security cameras in the lot has been nearly doubled, and signs at each of the casino's three entrances warn patrons that anyone who leaves children unattended is subject to arrest by police.

Three incidents have been reported so far this year, compared to nine in 2010, and all three were resolved in less than 20 minutes, casino officials said.

Fajt urged the officials to consider adding bicycle patrols because bikes could more nimbly maneuver among parked vehicles.


First New York City Casino to Emphasize HD-IP Surveillance

In today’s tough economic environment, gaming properties are looking to save money wherever they can. Unfortunately, this sometimes means they shy away from the expense of the latest and greatest technology to make do with older systems that, although antiquated, operate in an adequate and cost-effective manner. This is often the case with surveillance systems, since the older equipment still has enough flexibility and throughput to catch cheats and protect people and property.

Still, it’s nice to hear that when given the opportunity, new ground-up gaming development will invest in the latest cutting-edge surveillance systems – that can provide both enhanced performance and cost-savings. One such property is Resorts World New York, the first casino that will operate within the famous five boroughs of New York City when it opens later this fall.

Resorts World New York, a 400,000-square-foot resort currently being developed within the footprint of the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, will initially offer 2,280 video lottery terminals and 205 electronic table games, with plans to expand to more than 5,000 gaming machines by the end of the year. Protecting this enterprise will be a turnkey surveillance solution from Synectic Systems, Inc., a Carpinteria, Calif.-based developer and manufacturer of integrated digital recording systems. This initial Resorts World surveillance installation will record more than 1,400 channels of 30FPS high-definition IP video using Synectics’ video management and integration platform, Synergy.

Supported by a Cisco IP infrastructure, the system installation is expected to be complete this month. Video integration to the casino’s point-of-sale cash register transactions through Synergy will further enhance the feature set of Synectics’ command and control video management platform.

“Synergy's flexible and user-friendly interface was the driving force behind Synectics being the system of choice for Resorts World New York,” says John Medolla, director of surveillance for the property. “Also a major factor in the decision was Synectics’ ability to create a cost-effective, all HD-IP digital recording solution – the first of its kind in North America.”