OPERATOR CASE STUDY
South Korea-based Gongzi Jeju leverages surveillance technology for casino floor efficiency
Located inside the luxury Ramada Plaza Hotel on the Korean resort island of Jeju, Gongzi Jeju Casino is a foreigner-only destination property with a global reputation. Though smaller in size than the mega-casinos of Singapore and Macau it was designed to emulate, the 40,000-square-foot property features 45 gaming tables, extensive slot zones and VIP areas.
Gongzi Jeju Casino is distinctive in terms of its focus on technology to meet its business ambitions. Operating 24/7, Gongzi Jeju boasts a state-of-the-art surveillance system and has leveraged the technology’s capabilities to enhance property security, improve operational efficiency and achieve real-time customer satisfaction. The system adopted by Gongzi—which features full server failover and data replication for optimal uptime and surveillance footage reliability—is tailored to deliver third-party integrations and management workflows based on the casino’s exact operational needs.
“I’d seen what Synectics’ solutions are capable of from my time in Singapore and Macau,” said Jonas Bautista, manager of surveillance and security at Gongzi Jeju. “Given our mission here to match global competitors and deliver a world-class experience, it made sense that the management team selected Synergy 3.
“Perhaps what has surprised me, though, is how well and easily we’ve been able to incorporate the system’s features to enhance our specific operational setup.”
HIGH SATISFACTION RATE
Integrating the property’s cameras, security systems, access control, and gaming table solutions such as Angel Eye Baccarat shoes, the Synergy 3 solution enables the control room’s surveillance operatives to investigate alerts from the casino floor rapidly and comprehensively.
“This isn’t just important for security—it’s also about reputation,” Bautista said. “You inevitably get customers who query their luck or how a game is going. Now our surveillance team can review gaming data and footage, access reports and images, and immediately send this information to our staff at the tables, which keeps customers satisfied. We find the ability to select and attach media for secure inter department communication extremely useful.”
“Similarly, if a customer loses or believes a possession stolen, the alert gets flagged to the control room team who can review footage and respond in real time,” Bautista added. “Therefore, we can quickly assist in finding items or investigate security issues for a swift resolution. The advanced mapping capabilities we now have are particularly important here as we can pinpoint any location incredibly quickly. Our solution puts facts at fingertips, which, for our business, is crucial.”
Synergy 3’s workflow functionality allows casinos to create tailored sets of rules and alerts designed to support the secure and smooth delivery of property-specific processes—from maintenance tasks to fraud response.
“It’s a feature we have started using but are still to explore fully,” Bautista said. “At the moment, we’ve primarily adopted it to guide personnel handling issues that might otherwise have required a call to our tech team. For example, if one of our cameras goes offline, the necessary guidance for operators to follow is automatically triggered. It’s already saving us time and effort, and this is quite a simple application of the feature—compared to what we know is possible.
“We’re also using the solution to make other key processes more secure and consistent. For instance, with banking runs, our control room team uses Synergy 3 to check for specific IDs, permissions, and shift information to ensure the right people are carrying out the right tasks at exactly the right time.”
While technical capabilities and reliability were essential factors in Gongzi Jeju Casino’s selection of their new solution, another important consideration was training and ongoing support.
“This is not Macau and Singapore, however the engineering and training support we received in the buildup to opening was beyond exceptional,” Bautista said. “What I mean by that is that the Synectics experts—who have helped design and set up systems for some of the world’s biggest casinos—made sure we received the same level of expertise to make the most of our solution.”
“What’s more, since we opened that level of support hasn’t dropped,” Bautista added. “We are still looking at ways to do things better, to grow, to improve our capabilities, and that’s a collaborative process. In fact, we are working on a couple of new developments right now that was triggered by us asking if something was possible. It’s reassuring, given our future plans, as we know we’ve got a technology partner that can help us achieve them.”
Synectics is a global leader in the design, integration, control, and management of advanced surveillance technology and networked security systems, for environments where security is operationally critical. Visit www.synecticsglobal.com for more information.
VENDOR CASE STUDY
How IP surveillance can manage social distancing in casinos and other high-traffic venues
BY VIVOTEK USA
With the current COVID-19 crisis in mind, San Jose, Calif.-based VIVOTEK, a global IP surveillance solution provider, now offers a solution to maintain maximum occupancy as well as a safer and healthier environment. VIVOTEK Crowd Control Solutions can easily monitor the number of people entering and exiting a business, thereby providing customers and staff with a safer environment.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has become a standard public health intervention around the world,” David Liu, president of VIVOTEK USA. “According to the definition by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means maintaining space between yourself and other people outside of your home. Through social distancing, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.”
Based on advice from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO), every country is urged to release its own social distancing regulations. Every state in the U.S. has issued guidelines or orders limiting social interaction. In the European Union (EU), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, providing risk assessments, public health guidance, and advice on response activities to EU member states and the EU Commission. Meanwhile, governments throughout Asia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan have implemented strict social distancing policies.
For the most part, businesses where close-proximity contact is unavoidable are only just now being allowed to reopen. But some types of businesses, such as supermarkets, have remained open during the outbreak and lockdown, as they are deemed essential. Here are some of the common social distancing practices in use at supermarkets:
- Limits on the number of in-store customers;
- Use of in-store social distancing markers, barriers and floor tape to remind customers to maintain the advised distance;
- Investment in protective equipment such as acrylic screens at checkout counters;
- Enhanced cleaning practices and noticeable placements of hand sanitizer for customer use; and
- Increased adoption of contactless payment technology.
Individual supermarkets have introduced their own policies to keep customers at an appropriate distance. At the same time, an increasing number of retail, health care, banking and hospitality industries have adopted IP surveillance and business intelligence systems to reduce the load on manual management while also mitigating the risk of both employee and customer infection on their premises.
VIDEO ANALYTICS DURING COVID-19
As the IP surveillance industry enters the era of AI, security network cameras (IP cameras) have seen great advances through the application of AI and deep learning technologies. These next-generation cameras are equipped with high-performance computing power and video analytics, allowing users to transform real-time images into big-data analysis.
Under the aforementioned social distancing practices of supermarkets, there are four video analytic techniques that are commonly deployed as precautionary measures:
Queue management—Queue management was designed to optimize customer experiences and reduce wait times. During the pandemic, queue management is focused on managing customer flows and avoiding physical queues to maintain social distance.
People counting—In response to the needs of entry-control management, a people counting solution is the ideal video analytic tool for supermarket chains. It can easily identify occupancy levels and monitor in real time the number of people entering and exiting a store, thereby providing customers and staff with a safer environment.
Crowd detection—Crowd detection video analytics can be used to identify how many people are present in a given area. Stores and businesses can then effortlessly manage and maintain distance between customers, automatically sending alert notifications when maximum capacity is exceeded.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) detection—PPE can protect the user against health or safety risks. These items include safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility garments, safety footwear and so on. During the COVID-19 pandemic, advanced video analysis can identify people who are not wearing masks or other critical equipment, providing a safe and healthy environment for both frontline workers and customers.
“These AI-driven video analytics and smart-edge cameras are enabling IP surveillance solutions to better assist users to manage their business under the increased pressures of pandemic conditions,” Liu said. “VIVOTEK’s intelligent people counting camera and analytics system can be deployed at points of entry to areas with a higher likelihood of social interaction.”
VIVOTEK Crowd Control Solutions benefits include:
Social distancing compliance—Putting safety first, implementing VIVOTEK’s Crowd Control Solution enables effective management of crowds in places where social distancing must be upheld.
High accuracy—When business owners recruit security staff or part-time employees to manually count traffic, this leads to a less than satisfactory result. VIVOTEK’s 3D stereo counting camera provides precise tracking and a counting accuracy up to 98 percent. This accuracy is further increased by the ability to transfer large datasets.
Real-time analytics—Combining AI with deep-learning analytics, video data can be gathered, analyzed, and applied in real time, enabling staffs to respond promptly to any change.
- Lowered risk of infection—The deployment of VIVOTEK’s Crowd Control Solution also means a minimization of physical contact, providing both customers and employees a safer working and shopping environment.
“COVID-19 has changed our lives and the way we all interact and communicate,” Liu said. “It also has a growing impact on the global economy. From AI to video analytics, VIVOTEK’s Crowd Control Solution has become essential at this time of social distancing.”
VIVOTEK was founded in Taiwan in 2000 and has become a leading brand in the global IP surveillance industry. Visit www.vivotek.com for more information.
VENDOR CASE STUDY
Cleaning up on compliance
CasinoSoft uses low-code platform to build anti-money laundering (AML) software package
CasinoSoft, a Nevada-based software development firm, has built a first-in-class, scalable compliance and taxation software package using the low-code platform provided by Boston, Mass.-based Mendix. The package, ComplianceCore, digitizes and automates the extensive data collection and reporting required of casinos and card clubs operating under the U.S. Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering auditing rules, also known as Title 31 compliance.
“The majority of casinos are paper factories that generate massive piles of paperwork on a daily basis,” said Matt Montano, CEO of CasinoSoft. “There is simply too much financial data coming from too many sources on the casino floor for employees to aggregate by hand and review. Regarding the casinos that do have enterprise financial systems, they’re often tied into back-end legacy systems that are hard to update when technology improves or regulations change. Resource-stretched IT teams usually limit their upgrades of a casino’s workstations to once every two years.”
CasinoSoft built the three ComplianceCore modules in just six months from scratch, using the Mendix low-code software development platform. Low-code is a visual development approach to application development that enables developers of varied experience levels to create applications for web and mobile, using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphical user interface. CasinoSoft chose Mendix particularly for its open architecture and its collaboration and rapid development capabilities.
“Mendix’s underlying architecture enables our solution to integrate all the disparate sources of data generated by casino operations into a Mendix-built back end,” Montano said. “We can deploy quick functionality enhancements on the fly and do system upgrades five or six times a year.”
ComplianceCore dramatically reduces the amount of time casino staff spends on data collection and reporting for each gaming “day” (equal to a 24-hour period).
“Data that formerly required days to crunch and organize is now completed in two to three hours,” Montano said. “This gives the staff more time to focus on enhanced due diligence.”
The ComplianceCore software package consists of three standalone modules:
- Title 31 reporting package integrates disparate streams of financial transactions into a Mendix-built back end that is aggregated daily;
- Tablet tax forms digitize and automates the IRS reporting requirements of any prize or jackpot above a $1,200 threshold; and
- Document automation automatically sorts and files scanned paper documents according to a player’s profile, account and federal filing status.
CasinoSoft’s software package has been deployed in 12 casinos nationwide.
Mendix, a Siemens business and a global leader in enterprise low-code, is fundamentally reinventing the way applications are built in the digital enterprise. Visit www.mendix.com for more information.