The surveillance team monitors the system live 24x7, 365 days a year from the casino’s central control room using the Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) network video management software (NVMS.)
Avigilon's solution has  improved the casino’s ability to respond to security events and resolve incidents

Secure entertainment experience

The challenge was to provide a safe entertainment experience for Prairie Meadows guests, protect high-value assets, and comply with state-mandated security requirements.

Avigilon video solution

Complete coverage of the casino with more than 200 Avigilon™ HD 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 5MP, and 16MP cameras and 200 Avigilon Analogue Video Encoders to capture better image quality from its existing analogue cameras. The system is monitored live 24/7, 365 days a year using the Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) network video management software (NVMS) and 30 Avigilon HD Network Video Recorders (NVRs), which stores at minimum 7 days of continuous footage of the gaming floor and all other areas. The casino also deployed the Avigilon Control Centre HD License Plate Recognition (LPR) solution and plans to add more Avigilon HD 2MP cameras and Avigilon HD PTZ cameras in the second phase of its installation.

Advantages

  • Lower bandwidth and storage requirements
  • Faster search times
  • Evidence-quality image detail
  • Cost savings due to reduced maintenance and support required
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Faster response to incidents due to better overall protection

User-friendly surveillance

Prairie Meadows Racetrack Casino Hotel and conference centre was developed by the communities of Polk County in the 1980s, a time when Iowa’s agricultural industry was hard-hit. Prairie Meadows, a horse track, casino, hotel in Altoona, Iowa, was founded to create jobs, foster agriculture, boost tourism, and stimulate the economy. Although Prairie Meadows opened exclusively as a horse track in 1989, the company quickly morphed into the nation’s first “racino” – a combination horse track and casino, in 1995. Today, Prairie Meadows offers a 168-room hotel, more than 2,000 slot machines, 50 gaming tables, live and simulcast horse racing, ticketed entertainment, restaurants, lounges, and approximately 21,000 square feet of conference space that are second to none. Prairie Meadows invested in the state-of-the-art Avigilon high-definition surveillance system with the goal of providing a comfortable and truly memorable entertainment experience, while confidently meeting Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) security regulations.

Advanced functionality and excellent imaging

Spanning one million square feet, Prairie Meadows served more than 3 million customers in 2013. Their non-profit has donated more than $1.4 billion through taxes, grants and charitable contributions to the state of Iowa. Similar to many casinos and resorts, customer safety and asset protection are top priorities. In 2011, Prairie Meadows searched for a user-friendly solution to meet the growing needs of its business. “We wanted an IP-based surveillance system that would meet state requirements and grow with us as we expand,” said Brian Reffett, surveillance manager at Prairie Meadows.

“Avigilon delivers a surveillance solution that is extremely easy to use – we knew our team would pick it up quickly for faster and more successful investigations.”

On the recommendation of USA Security, a local provider of surveillance system design and installation, Prairie Meadows selected the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system for its advanced functionality, excellent image quality, reliability, and unsurpassed ease-of use. “Avigilon delivers a surveillance solution that is extremely easy to use – we knew our team would pick it up quickly for faster and more successful investigations,” said Reffett.

Broad coverage with enhanced image quality

Monitoring all entrances to the casino, the main gaming floor, restaurants, the event centre, parking lot, and all other outdoor spaces, the casino’s new surveillance system comprises of 800 cameras, including a combination of more than 200 Avigilon HD 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 5MP, and 16MP cameras. To leverage its existing analogue-based cameras, Prairie Meadows installed 200 Avigilon analogue video encoders to vastly enhance image quality. Prairie Meadows is also preparing to deploy the Avigilon Control Centre HD License Plate Recognition (LPR) solution and plans to augment the system currently in place with Avigilon HD 2MP and Avigilon HD PTZ cameras.

The surveillance team monitors the system live 24x7, 365 days a year from the casino’s central control room using the Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) network video management software (NVMS.) Mandated by the IRGC, the casino installed 30 Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs) for network retaining purposes. “The quality of Avigilon’s compression technologies reduces the amount of storage and bandwidth than we previously required,” said Reffett.

Managed by USA Security, the process of installation was quick and easy. Once the cameras were mounted, Reffett could easily make adjustments to the camera’s focus from the control room, which has already saved valuable time. The entire casino staff, from management to security personnel, is very pleased with the new Avigilon surveillance system. “Feedback has been extremely positive – everyone loves how fast they can now conduct searches,” said Reffett.

Speedy process with greater accuracy

With its user-friendly interface and advanced search capabilities, the Avigilon Control Centre software dramatically expedites searches and investigations. “We have cut our search times from hours to minutes,” confirmed Reffett. Monitoring such a large space, the integrated mapping feature helps the team quickly pinpoint an area of interest with the click of the mouse. Leveraging the thumbnail search feature, users can efficiently look through thumbnail-size frames to find changes in a scene. ACC’s pixel-search feature helps identify motion events so users can quickly and easily find an incident in question. “The fact that we can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to cycle through footage is useful because it speeds the process and provides greater accuracy.” With the time saved, ease of use and accuracy of the Avigilon system, employees can be redeployed to other tasks to ensure the safest gaming environment.

“Avigilon delivers more true colour with less pixilation, and we can easily zoom in for incredible detail from long distances”

Evidence-quality images

According to Reffett, a key selling feature of the Avigilon solution is its unparalleled image detail, which delivers evidence-quality images. “Avigilon delivers more true colour with less pixilation, and we can easily zoom in for incredible detail from long distances,” stated Reffett. In fact, with the ability to remotely zoom in and focus the Avigilon 16 MP HD Pro camera, Reffett can clearly read the signs at the other side of the casino’s large, open property. “Even though it is set up as an overview camera, the Avigilon 16 MP camera can still focus sharply to read license plates of vehicles as they enter our horse barn area as well,” he said.

 “When we turned off the old DVRs, we got a call from our facilities department asking if we were experiencing an electrical outage – a sure sign that we have dramatically reduced our electrical needs.”

Cost effective with low power consumption

By delivering high-quality video evidence that is easy to manage, the Avigilon solution has dramatically improved the casino’s ability to respond to security events and resolve incidents. At the same time, the new system is more cost-effective than others because licensing fees are only applied once, unlike other vendors that charge extra. The Avigilon surveillance system also delivers greater uptime and requires less maintenance and support for additional savings. “With Avigilon, we don’t have to pay someone overtime to make repairs in the middle of the night,” commented Reffett.

Prairie Meadows has also noticed a marked reduction in power consumption since deploying the Avigilon system, leading to even greater utility savings. “When we turned off the old DVRs, we got a call from our facilities department asking if we were experiencing an electrical outage – a sure sign that we have dramatically reduced our electrical needs,” added Reffett.

Great customer service

“I would recommend the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system because it delivers shorter review times for faster response, better video quality, and greater reliability and scalability in a cost-effective package,” concluded Reffett, who is also impressed by Avigilon’s responsive customer service. “Avigilon is very good at listening to its customer and incorporating feedback into future upgrades to deliver the best surveillance solution possible.”

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