In casino surveillance, there must be an understanding of the behaviour of thieves and cheats. In particular, casinos must understand how the behaviour of a casino adversary differs from that of a legitimate guest. The end result of the understanding is that only threatening or fraudulent behaviour is challenged, leaving other guests free to simply enjoy their visits to the casino. Responding to behaviour anomalies requires understanding that comes from analytics capabilities emerging on the casino scene.
Behaviour monitoring and analysis
Technology provider Oncam, for example, can monitor for card counters who exhibit specific behaviour patterns. Once alerted to those variances and nuances, Oncam’s cameras can probe further to track, interrogate and verify, which means delving into previous behaviour in earlier video frames to confirm or challenge the findings of the cameras using analytics.
From an analytics perspective, facial recognition capabilities are being watched very closely by the casino surveillance market, says Laurie Smock, vice president of sales, North American Video (NAV). As analytic algorithms and analytic delivery technologies improve, casino surveillance systems will be able to implement systems such as facial recognition to identify subjects and cross reference them with a consolidated database that can be shared by multiple properties. This will dramatically improve efficiencies across multiple organisations, says Smock.
Barriers in analytics adoption
The adoption of analytics has been limited by the current state of the technology, says Smock. Current analytics technology limits its deployment on a broad scale in any application. As a result, those casino operators who do choose to deploy analytics are doing so on a smaller scale in order to utilise the technology properly. As analytics technology advances, and large-scale deployment become feasible, the adoption rate among gaming properties will increase significantly, she predicts.
Analytics for crime analysis
"As analytic technology continues
to improve and more market-specific
rules are launched, operators are
becoming more efficient with their
investigations" says Larry Wanvig
of Tyco Security Products
“One of the biggest technology changes I see gaining ground is the adoption of analytics within the casino surveillance operation,” says Larry Wanvig, senior national account manager – gaming, Tyco Security Products. “As analytic technology continues to improve and more market-specific rules are launched, operators are becoming more efficient with their investigations. This will obviously be of great benefit to casino operations, as they are better able to understand trends and patterns in events and their business operations.” Analytics have the ability to bridge the gap [between casino surveillance and the physical security department] by allowing business groups to take full advantage of the video analysis, says Wanvig. For example, analytics can help casinos understand the foot traffic patterns within their retail stores to better position displays, to validate credentialed employees in the facility’s private areas, and to better manage lines at the hotel front desk. The analytics offered by the surveillance system can be reviewed for specific trends and used to spot incidents of concern or to correct procedural problems.
Challenges of big data analytics
Another trend is Big Data analytics. As the amount of data that casinos gather each day increases exponentially, operators will need to rely on analytic technologies to help them make sense of all the noise, says Ron Grinfeld, director, global vertical marketing, DVTEL. Tools like video analytics, license-plate recognition, heat mapping and other applications will be increasingly useful for larger casino customers.
Facial recognition also will change everything, from surveillance on the gaming floor for player identification, to customer check-in for VIP experience, Grinfeld says. More cameras will be put in places that haven’t been thought of before.
Customers are also interested in video analytics for physical security needs (such as protecting the perimeter or securing the parking lot area), as well as business intelligences applications that use heat maps, movement patterns and other tools to analyse trends and behaviours, he says.