Morse Watchmans is perhaps best known in the gaming industry for its KeyWatch line of key management products, which have a well-earned reputation for efficiency and ease of use. However, the company does offer other security services that are also finding a foothold in casinos across the U.S. Morse Watchmans chief operating officer Joe Granitto recently took some time to respond to questions from Casino JournalEditor Paul Doocey regarding the company, its assets and how they have performed. Excerpts of his answers are below.
Please provide a brief overview of Morse Watchmans… how did the company come about? What industries does it serve?
GRANITTO: Morse Watchmans has been in existence for well over 100 years, initially as a guard tour systems provider. In the early 1980s current leadership came on board and introduced the PowerCheck Guard Tour system. Shortly thereafter, we invented the concept of electronic key control after observing how manual systems of key management were falling short and causing problems. Now Morse Watchmans is the global leader in key control, serving a diverse array of industries including gaming, education, hospitality, corrections, healthcare, banking, airports, critical infrastructure and many more.
How did Morse Watchmans become interested in the gaming marketplace?
GRANITTO: Casinos have an extremely high need for security, with dozens to thousands of keys in circulation. Every drop box, slot machine, counting room, etc., has keys associated with it, and the use of these keys is heavily regulated by compliance laws. All this makes it a natural fit for electronic key control.
What products and services does Morse Watchmans offer casino operators?
GRANITTO: Our KeyWatcher Illuminated, KeyWatcher Touch and KeyRings secure, control and track keys for casinos. Our AssetWatcher uses RFID technology to do the same for assets like tablets, cash drawers, communications devices and weapons; helping to ensure that they are only available to the individuals who have authority to use them. We also offer our PowerCheck line of guard tour products which provides documentation and accountability for physical security teams patrolling gaming operations.
Which Morse Watchmans products/services are most popular with the gaming industry? Why?
GRANITTO: The KeyWatcher Touch is in use in many, if not most, casinos. Our gaming-specific software makes it much easier for a casino to be sure they remain in compliance with strict regulations. For example, to meet gaming regulations that require the three-man rule to access sensitive or restricted key sets (including drop keys), the casino key management system can be programmed to recognize these keys and only release them once the three required logins are complete.
What sets Morse Watchmans products apart from the competition?
GRANITTO: Morse Watchmans products are fully featured and extremely easy to use. With large numbers of diverse personnel needing to be able to access, remove and replace their keys, this is of paramount importance for a casino.
What is the ROI for Morse Watchman’s products and services?
GRANITTO: Securing and tracking keys at a casino would require at least one full-time security employee, if not more. Using Morse Watchmans KeyWatcher allows this employee to handle other tasks requiring a human touch. Further, key control greatly reduces the risk of lost or stolen keys, which would require extensive and costly re-keying of locks. By helping a casino maintain compliance with regulations, KeyWatcher also helps avoid the fines that come with compliance violations.
What new technologies is Morse Watchmans integrating into its products?
GRANITTO: AssetWatcher, our asset control system, uses RFID technology to provide data on whether a specific asset is in the system, and if so, which locker it has been placed in.
What products/services will you be showcasing at the upcoming G2E show in Las Vegas?
GRANITTO: We will be showing our KeyWatcher Illuminated, KeyWatcher Touch, and AssetWatcher systems. All of these will be available for demonstration.
Joe Granitto is chief operating officer for Morse Watchmans Incorporated, an Oxford, Conn.-based provider of market-proven products and technologies for key control, key security and key and asset management solutions. For more information, visit www.morsewatchmans.com.