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How to harness casino surveillance for better customer service and profitability

Beyond simple loss prevention, combining people counting and point-of-sale provides invaluable information to marketing and finance

With the power of new technology and analytics, security systems could be used in other ways as well

Security and surveillance systems are valuable beyond strictly providing compliance in the casino market. Even beyond ensuring physical security on premises outside the casino floor, systems are providing additional benefits including customer service, marketing and profitability, says Maureen Bruen, vertical market specialist – gaming, Honeywell Security Products Americas. Traditionally, access control, employee badging and visitor management have been a lower priority in casinos; however, they are essential to providing a total security solution, she adds.

Combining departments for better business outcomes

While surveillance of the casino floor is generally a separate department from physical security, with appropriate equipment selection and software partitioning, requirements of both departments can be met without compromise, says Bruen.

Beyond simple loss prevention, combining people counting and point-of-sale provides invaluable information to marketing and finance, adds Bruen. By understanding the number of customers within any specific area of a casino combined with slot and point-of-sale data, these departments can better understand customer-to-cash conversion ratios. The level of success of any promotional activity can be easily measured.

"While surveillance of the casino floor is generally a separate department from physical security, with appropriate equipment selection and software partitioning, requirements of both departments can be met without compromise"

Bruen says point-of-sale (POS) is often overlooked in casino surveillance. Statistics show that internal theft is on the rise. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75 percent of employees have stolen from their employers. Of those, nearly half will steal again from the same employer. An estimated 50 billion dollars is lost annually from U.S. businesses due to employee theft.

Honeywell’s IDM (integrated data manager) for loss prevention

Honeywell’s IDM (integrated data manager) can cut losses with the help of surveillance, loss prevention and food and beverage departments. IDM is a cost-effective solution that increases bottom-line profits through proactive loss prevention. IDM mines large amounts of data quickly and provides powerful customised reports with graphical results and instant video. Integrating video surveillance with data from point-of-sale, slot machines, cash counters, and ATM machines protects the casino’s bars, restaurants and retail interests against employee misconduct and internal loss.

Physical security systems are often used to thwart the “bad guy” in the form of a breach, theft, or unwanted act. But with the power of new technology and analytics, these systems could be used in other ways as well, agrees Larry Wanvig, senior national account manager – gaming, Tyco Security Products.

"Integrating video surveillance with data from point-of-sale, slot machines, cash counters, and ATM machines protects the casino’s bars, restaurants and retail interests against employee misconduct and internal loss"

An example might be a system’s ability to notify management and hospitality teams when a VIP arrives so that they can ensure the VIP is taken care of appropriately. The notification could be based on an analytic rule or might also be accomplished by the unification of multiple systems, such as the surveillance and the loyalty/rewards program systems together, or the integration of surveillance and license plate recognition to notify staff as the guest arrives in the parking garage.

Video and access control merger carries outstanding benefits

The technology choices made by casino surveillance and security departments are typically made with compatibility in mind, as each department needs the capacity to share video and other information when needed, says Laurie Smock, vice president of sales, North American Video. For example, business operations often benefit from integrating a property’s point of sale system with the surveillance system to assist with reducing shrinkage. Access control is another vital security system element that is often integrated with surveillance, Smock says. When done properly, it provides a wealth of data that can be shared among multiple departments within the casino.

NAV works with clients’ surveillance management to identify the video security technologies that will provide them with the functionality, scalability, and sustainability they meet. Once the technology has been identified, NAV’s design services configure the system layout for each individual property to ensure proper implementation and coverage.

“We bring the same level of focus and individualisation to each casino we work with,” says Smock. “When the system design is complete, the NAV operations team installs and commissions the system. Once the system is up and running, NAV provides the customer with regular maintenance visits as well as any emergency on-site technical support that is needed.”

"One consideration that is often overlooked is how the system performs and behaves, and how user-friendly it is on a day-to-day basis. It’s important that a solution can be flexibly and freely used for both monitoring and investigations, with easy-to-use playback operations, rewind, pause and so on of 24/7 recordings"

Struggling with separation

Based on DVTEL’s experience, the separation between the casino surveillance and security departments leads to separate decision-making, driven by different budgets and requirements. As a result, these can be seen as two separate sites/projects, says Ron Grinfeld, director, global vertical marketing, DVTEL.

One consideration that is often overlooked is how the system performs and behaves, and how user-friendly it is on a day-to-day basis, says Grinfeld. It’s important that a solution can be flexibly and freely used for both monitoring and investigations, with easy-to-use playback operations, rewind, pause and so on of 24/7 recordings. For visibility into the entire casino, it’s also important that the system can easily display multiple tiles simultaneously.

Furthermore, a customer should consider whether the solution has a single point of failure, how fast it recovers from breakdown and what would be the damage or loss of recorded video.

DVTEL’s Latitude NVMS

DVTEL’s enterprise-grade Latitude NVMS is a common choice for casino customers as it allows them to manage and monitor hundreds of cameras across the casino floor. Features such as failover and redundancy enable optimised viewing and help casinos avoid system downtime under any circumstances.

Advanced add-on tools for the DVTEL system, such as camera stitching technology, maps, and POS, access control and other third-party integrations, are a common choice for the daily operations of casino customers.


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