Investing in Surveillance for Future Casino Security
Since it began operating in 2006 as Pennsylvania’s first slots casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has offered a little bit of everything. Spread across 300,000 square feet, the 24-hour gaming and entertainment complex boasts 2,500 slot machines, electronic blackjack and roulette and live harness racing, along with upscale restaurants, a food court and an expansive shopping area.
Securing a complex facility like Mohegan is no simple feat, however, and requires planning and consideration. After some work, the facility serves as a good blueprint for installing an IP-ready security and surveillance system that meets current needs and provides room for future growth.
After observing installations at other casinos, the security team chose a mix of products from Honeywell, including analog dome cameras on a CAT5 and fiber backbone that’s IP ready for expansion. Pan-tilt-zoom domes monitor the casino floor as well as the parking structure, racetrack and clubhouse. Enterprise-level digital network video recorders (NVRs) store the captured footage.
Honeywell’s MAXPRO-Net server leverages the analog video matrix and supports video subsystems, including the digital NVR systems throughout the facility, and has the capacity to support other security technology, including access control, fire, building management, intercom and perimeter systems. Operators easily access live or recorded video from 12 workstations spread across the property, based on specific permissions assigned for each station.
“Our selection gave us an opportunity for cost savings by using parts from our previous system. And it also offers greater flexibility for future expansion,” says Dave Zarn, Surveillance Technical Manager for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
The complex offers gaming and entertainment around the clock. Both analog and IP video cameras are in a single display, ensuring Mohegan will be able to incorporate IP technology as the system expands in the future.
Mohegan implemented technology that ties together data from point-of-sale systems, slot machines and cash counters, and integrates with the broader video management system. Honeywell’s IDM (Integrated Data Manager) uses data monitoring and mining technology to capture cash-handling information from casino registers and machines and integrate that data with video. As a result, Mohegan officials can review cash handling from anywhere within the facility.
Mohegan is able to partition the integrated system so both its security and surveillance teams can benefit. The surveillance team uses it to monitor cash handling on the floor and in cash count cages. The security team leverages the installation for handling operational issues that go beyond security breaches such as visitor injury incidents.
“An integrated system lets us be more proactive in our approach to asset protection and keeping our visitors and employees safe,” says Zarn. “We’re better equipped to prevent incidents like theft before they happen. And being proactive helps boost morale among our staff, who in turn are more productive and effective.”
Mohegan’s integrated security and surveillance system has also garnered the attention of audiences outside the casino. Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently visited the facility to view the installation and observe how it works. They were impressed with how the systems are distributed throughout the facility, as well as Mohegan’s use of fiber connections to form a flexible and configurable system that will easily expand.
“We’ve established a recipe for success by providing our talented technical and operational personnel with the right technology to create a competent and future-ready enterprise solution,” Zarn says. “We needed technology that plays nice with other products, and that’s what we found.”