Consumer and employee safety is a front-of-mind issue for casino resort executives these days, and security and surveillance suppliers are here to help
with case studies, Q&As and new products launches
Rapid video search capabilities enhance operator efficiency for Cherokee Nation Entertainment
BY AGENT VIDEO INTELLIGENCE (AGENT VI)
Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE) is the gaming and hospitality arm of the Cherokee Nation, operating multiple casinos and hotels across northeast Oklahoma, including the prestigious Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Concerned that their security team was spending an overly large number of person-hours reviewing video recordings searching for a single person of interest, CNE sought to reduce the time it took to review security footage, so its security team could remain focused on proactive tasks and optimize day-today efficiency. CNE also wanted to obtain and assess accurate data on occupancy and visitor trends for business intelligence purposes. Furthermore, CNE wanted to be alerted to security-related events in real-time, in order to handle security issues as they developed.
To accomplish these tasks, CNE selected savVi, Agent Vi’s on-premise video analytics solution, due to the wide range of video analytics capabilities that savVi offers. Over 1,000 savVi licenses were purchased, allowing cameras at CNE’s 10 Oklahoma-based casinos to be enabled with different combinations of real-time event detection, video search and business intelligence capabilities.
CNE utilizes the video search capability most widely—to enable rapid search through the surveillance video to pinpoint events of interest—and therefore video search capabilities are enabled on the majority of cameras at the sites. Business intelligence capabilities are mostly deployed around the various gaming machines and at entrance and exit points, to show traffic patterns and real-time people counts. Real-time event detection capabilities are used largely for the high-security areas to ensure that CNE’s security team is informed regarding situations, as they unfold.
savVi is deployed through integration with a range of Axis network cameras, primarily the AXIS P3225 and Q3505 fixed cameras, the AXIS P5635, Q6044 and Q6045 PTZ cameras, and for outdoor vehicle search, the AXIS Q3708 fixed camera with three sensors. CNE uses Milestone XProtect Corporate Video Management System (VMS), which is fully and seamlessly integrated with savVi, a Milestone Certified Solution.
savVi’s video search capabilities are of considerable importance to CNE. There is a prevailing need for the casinos to be able to swiftly locate specific events within masses of footage (“incident remediation” as it is known within the industry). Among other things, this allows for verification of personal injury claims by customers who may be trying to defraud the casino. Previously, the security team’s time was heavily occupied by observing hours of footage in search of a specific person or incident. savVi now enables CNE to run the search automatically, allowing far more effective use of the operators’ time, reducing search time from as much as 16 hours for a single search down to a matter of minutes.
savVi’s real-time event detection capabilities are primarily used by CNE to ensure a safer and more secure environment within the casino parking facilities. By immediately alerting to any suspicious event, such as people loitering or cars moving in an unauthorized direction, the security team can monitor events and act accordingly as they unfold.
savVi also allows CNE to gather and analyze essential business intelligence data on occupancy and visitor trends. savVi delivers accurate headcounts, meaning that the security team is constantly aware of how many people are on-site and using the casino facilities. This provides essential knowledge in the case of an emergency where a facility might need to be evacuated, and also helps prevent over-crowding.
By utilizing savVi’s heat mapping capabilities, CNE has knowledge of which areas of the casino are more heavily populated and at what times. CNE can then leverage the data collected in a number of ways, including negotiating leasing deals for externally-owned casino equipment and knowing which internal locations require heavier investment of machines and personnel. This puts CNE well ahead of its competitors, as it is one of, if not the, first gaming company to employ business intelligence through video analytics.
“It was savVi’s swift and effective video search that caught CNE’s attention when searching for an enhanced security solution, in particular due to the automated query ability,” said Joshua Anderson, director of surveillance and technology for Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “We have been extremely impressed with savVi’s capabilities and the quality of its performance, and fully expect savVi to increase efficiencies and provide true ROI which will have a major impact on the bottom line.”
“Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission’s approval of savVi’s deployment in CNE’s casinos is an endorsement of the great benefit that savVi’s video analytics capabilities offer to gaming concerns,” added AJ Frazer, vice president of business development for Agent Vi. “Having selected to deploy the full range of savVi video analytics functionalities, savVi offers CNE valuable insights into the activities and customer experience at their multiple sites, benefitting both CNE and their customers.”
Agent Video Intelligence (Agent Vi) is a leading global provider of open architecture, video analytics solutions. Agent Vi’s comprehensive video analytics offering includes software products for on-premise installations as well as cloud-based SaaS, with capabilities ranging from real-time video analysis and alerts to video search and business intelligence. For more information, visit www.agentvi.com.
Morse Watchmans offers leading-edge key control systems, and much more, to the gaming industry
BY PAUL DOOCEY
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.
Pechanga becomes first casino resort in U.S. to bet on robots for enhanced security monitoring
BY PECHANGA RESORT CASINO
Temecula, Calif.-based Pechanga Resort Casino is betting on new machines with a payoff of enhanced patron and team member safety. The resort/casino, the largest on the West Coast, becomes the first resort casino in the country to go all-in with utilizing autonomous security robots.
The units, designed and made by Knightscope, patrol the casino property and enhance its overall safety. One stationary bot and one roving unit provide commanding but friendly physical security presences. Already in use by large companies and corporations such as XPO Logistics, Westfield Malls, The Sacramento Kings and more, at Pechanga, their main goals will be to further assist the property’s security personnel by improving response times, as well as better detect suspicious activity or weapons.
“Public safety is paramount to Pechanga,” said Jared Munoa, president of the Pechanga Development Corporation. “We believe it’s critical in today’s environment that we vet and use the latest strategies and tactics to keep our guests and team members safe. We’ve seen what the Knightscope Robots can do—detect things the human eye cannot. It’s just one of the new safety tactics we’re utilizing to help us protect our expanded operations.”
Guests can often be seen taking selfies with the roving robot, the K5, as it moves about the hotel lobby and casino floor. At five-and-a-half feet tall and weighing 400 pounds, the autonomous machine stands out in a crowd. It also continuously captures and sends 360-degree, high-definition night and day video of its surroundings, can auto detect license plates and people, and also utilizes thermal imaging which allows for triggered alerts based on temperature in the event of an increased risk of fire or similar threat.
“We feel a casino/resort setting is the perfect application of the robots’ technology,” said Robert Krauss, vice president of public safety at Pechanga. “We have the ability to set it up in our parking lots and garages, at our front entrances, have it scan a line of people waiting for a concert to start and more. With the events in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the country and around the world in recent years, this is one more enhancement to our security strategy.”
Each member of Pechanga’s 300-person security team undergoes rigorous police academy-style training. The Knightscope robots are designed and programmed continuously to enhance the around-the-clock patrols done by the Pechanga Department of Public Safety. Constantly delivering fully encrypted data back to its hub, select Pechanga security officials review necessary material that ultimately will help them predict and prevent crime.
“Knightscope Robots continue to provide its clients with crime-fighting wins 24/7, creating stronger and safer American communities,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer for Knightscope. “We’re proud to team up with Pechanga to ensure guest safety and set a new standard for security at resort casinos across the country.”
Pechanga Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and offers one of the largest and most expansive resort/casino experiences anywhere in the country. Offering more than 4,500 of the hottest slots, table games, world-class entertainment, 1,090 hotel rooms, dining, spa and golf at Journey at Pechanga, Pechanga Resort & Casino features a destination that meets and exceeds the needs of its guests and the community. For more information, visit www.Pechanga.com.
Knightscope is an advanced security technology company based in Silicon Valley and builds the ultimate in security guards. The company’s security robots deter, detect and report… autonomously. For more information, visit www.knightscope.com.
All units secured
Technovation Solutions is adding partners and integrating next generation technology to better protect the resort enterprise
BY JOAN MANTINI
Technovation Solutions, a technology company aggregating multiple partners with leading edge front- and back-of-house technology, focuses on building integrated solutions for clients in multiple verticals including gaming, hospitality, healthcare and education. The company works with partners particularly focused on table gaming, security, safety and marketing in the gaming sector.
Technovation Solutions CEO, Peg McGregor recently took some time to answer questions from Casino Journal Associate Editor Joan Mantini regarding company offerings in the casino industry, how they have evolved over time as well as her predictions on how they will continue to evolve in the near future.
How have you seen security products and demand evolve since your involvement in the gaming industry?
MCGREGOR: Sadly, since the October 1 Las Vegas incident, demand has increased significantly, fortified by school shootings and other events over the last year. When we first started as a company, demand was typically focused on guest and player apps that provided the “wow” factor in the market. Today, as many clients have begun to struggle with balancing security and safety of staff and guests without negatively impacting guest/player experience, demand for many of our partner products have grown dramatically. We do not see that easing in the near term.
What solutions does Technovation offer casino operators for heightened security on the gaming floor and within hotels?
MCGREGOR: We have a broad range of solutions providing security and safety. Many of these play off NEC’s biometrics platform that provides facial recognition, VMS, perimeter security solutions, abandoned object security, panic buttons, communications and push to talk solutions and more. These solutions can be implemented independently or in tandem, allowing hospitality providers the opportunities to implement the components of the solution targeting the modules they need. In its simplest form, we provide panic buttons to help ensure safety of staff, offering the ability to locate a staff member in danger or who has been threatened—within a few meters of their location. In a more proactive environment, we provide properties with facial recognition technology that allows us to help resorts identify staff, provide access control (e.g. to the cage); alert security and other staff that someone is on the premise who shouldn’t be. Our biometrics platform can be integrated with local first responders, as well as any number of state-wide or national databases to ensure prompt identification and attention to threats coming onto the property.
Attendant to the security and safety options that these solutions provide, the products enhance guest and player experience. Our dual factor authentication process allows front line employees the opportunity to scan government issued IDs such as a driver’s license or passport and alert a property-wide team that a VIP has entered the premises. The authentication process also provides guest check-in at kiosks or through a mobile check-in app. Through this authentication process, we can also offer guest facing self-pour options in nightclubs, bars and restaurants or event venues. Our panic button solution also is a full-asset tracking system that allows room attendants and staff the ability to immediately locate assets such as cribs and roll-away beds, to quickly provide items to guests when needed. This same technology allows us to determine that a guest has finished their in-room dining and have placed the tray or trolley into the hall. The system allows staff to “see” that the tray is no longer in the room and send someone to remove it from the hallway.
What safety and security improvements have you noticed taking place on Strip properties following the October 1 mass shooting tragedy?
MCGREGOR: The good news is that we have not “noticed” many of the improvements being implemented by Strip properties, although we know that a full range of them are either being implemented or actively considered. These systems need to be implemented in a way that they do not intrude on the guest experience… we don’t want to “notice” them. In many instances, properties don’t want those who could be considered threats aware of new technologies, for obvious reasons. With the renegotiation of the culinary union contract here in Las Vegas, most properties are working to implement panic button solutions as quickly and effectively as possible. Biometrics, push to talk and other solutions allowing properties to quickly locate staff in the event of an emergency along with communications mechanisms that allow two-way chat, video and text messaging is growing as properties begin to better define their strategies to balance guest experience and the need to enhance security and safety of staff and guests.
Can you tell me some of the new technologies and features that are being added to your products to help ensure security and safety for casino property guests as well as staff?
MCGREGOR: We are currently previewing a very exciting, leading edge, patented security and safety platform providing 4D visualization and mobility capability that would combine with our biometrics platform. The new platform would provide real-time understanding of what is happening in an emergency, help mitigate risk and provide real time data, information and instruction to all stakeholders in an emergency—the public, property staff and first responders. The combination of technologies we are pulling together will yield a myriad of solutions to fit the needs of any property, casino, stadium or convention center from a hospitality perspective, and any number of other commercial and enterprise needs that exist outside of the hospitality vertical.
Do you plan to exhibit at G2E? If so, what will you be promoting in your booth?
MCGREGOR: Technovation Solutions will demo at G2E in both the NEC and Genesis Gaming booths. (Booth numbers 4009 and 2223 respectively.) A full range of security and safety solutions will be demonstrated around facial recognition, our Front Desk Assistant used for check-in solutions and our Ambassador program, the data analytics used behind these, as well as the ability to track and develop customer flow in both “recognized and unrecognized” environments. This will also highlight our ability to build data segmentation by identifying unknown guests based on demographics. Finally, we are scheduled for two speaking sessions on Tuesday and one on Wednesday where we will focus on the biometrics platform and our “Big Data” analytics and machine learning platform.
Peg McGregor is CEO of Technovation Solutions, a Las Vegas-based customer experience innovator providing both clients and partners with the capability to showcase and use technologies that provide solutions to their industries. The company’s key focus is building immersive customer experiences and providing staff enablement tools necessary to execute against those experiences cost effectively. For more information, visit www.technovationsolutions.com.
New smart card reader provides economical solution for high assurance applications
BY JOHNSON CONTROLS
Johnson Controls recently released the Cheetah SE High Assurance Smart Card Reader from Innometriks, providing end users with an economically priced, compact, high assurance reader for installations requiring two-factor authentication to meet federal credentialing requirements. With a wide range of communication options, Cheetah SE readers can seamlessly integrate into various existing physical access control systems for authentication and network environments for administration.
The easy to deploy, flexible Cheetah SE High Assurance Smart Card Reader provides tiered authentication levels designed to enable the incremental rollout of PIV-enabled access points. With its ability to read FIPS-201 based credentials (PIV, PIV-I, CIV, CAC, TWIC), the readers empower agencies to realize the full potential of government-issued credentials.
Using a secure browser connection, end users can manage enterprise installations and network-based firmware upgrades from a central location, allowing for easy set up and deployment on large systems through the use of configuration files. From one location, end users can ensure the correct settings are in place on each reader, while remotely managing licenses.
The Cheetah SE comes with support for Software House RM Reader functionality, allowing end users to easily and remotely activate cameras, doors and other events. This intuitive system can also trigger a duress call, and easily arm and disarm alarm monitoring points in a defined area or an entire facility within the C•CURE 9000 security and event management system from Software House.
Milwaukee, Wisc.-based Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.johnsoncontrols.com.