Stones Gambling Hall
Stones Gambling Hall Leverages Unified IP Video Surveillance and Access Control for Real-Time Guest and Asset Protection
Located just outside Sacramento in Citrus Heights, California, Stones Gambling Hall is the first of its kind in the California gaming industry. This new premier card house is comprised of two licensed gaming establishments, namely the Tavern and the Saloon, within one state-of-the-art facility. Visitors to the casino are offered first-class card rooms for both blackjack and poker, as well as, many other exciting table games and a full-service bar and restaurant.
At the start of the building's refurbishment, management of Stones Gambling Hall set very high expectations for the quality of construction, architectural design and general amenity. These high-quality standards extended to the selection and installation of its security system. While both video surveillance and access control systems were required, management wanted to eventually add a license plate recognition system to monitor vehicles coming into their parking garage.
After a preliminary market evaluation and a public call for tenders, it was at the recommendation of CCS, a Los Angeles based full-service integration, installation and solutions provider, that the casino selected a fully unified security platform, Genetec Security Center. The unified security platform combines Omnicast video surveillance, Synergis access control and AutoVu license plate recognition with other business and communication systems within one easy-to-use solution.
Unified Security Speeds Up Response and Investigations
Today, the security team at Stones Gambling Hall uses Omnicast to manage over 200 network cameras from Axis Communications which are deployed inside and outside of the two gaming establishments. Approximately 30 of those Axis cameras are located within the gaming facility's parking garage.
"Due to gaming regulations stipulating high system availability, our team worked diligently to ensure Stones Gambling Hall received one of the most progressive and reliable security systems available," explained Ryan Gleason, Project Manager at CCS. "By deploying the system in a secure multicast environment which is fully supported by Omnicast, the response time of cameras and accuracy of PTZ controls is encrypted and incredibly fast. As an added level of redundancy, every camera deployed on the property was configured with EDGE storage supporting up to 7 days of backup video archives stored on the camera."
Synergis is being used to control access to 25 doors, preventing unauthorized entry to back-of-house areas, cashier cages, as well as on-floor chip cabinets. Choosing an open-architecture access control system gave Stones the ability to select its preferred access control hardware and card technology from HID Global.
According to Elgen Turner, Security Director at Stones Gambling Hall, "The deep level of integration between video surveillance and access control, and the extent of time-saving functionality within this unified platform has been a tremendous help to our team. Having the ability to view video alongside a cardholder's credentials and picture makes it easier for the team to see who is accessing which areas of the site, and to quickly respond to access-denied events within Synergis."
Because the surveillance and security team monitors cameras around the clock, investigative features in Omnicast have become daily tools. When something, or someone, catches an operator's attention, one mouse click allows them to bookmark the event, another click facilitates instant playback of the event, and then a few more clicks provides access to the visual tracking feature which enables them to easily follow the suspect from camera to adjacent camera as they move through the facility. Video evidence can then be watermarked, exported and saved to long-term archiving for law enforcement involvement or future court litigations.
"The system has been so user-friendly," explains Turner. "A lot of our operators are self-taught and can navigate the system with ease. Finding video or information during our investigations has been quick and effortless. As long as we have a general idea of the event or time frame, we can extract what we are looking for."
Management can also tap into the unified platform to view camera feeds or manage doors from their mobile devices using the Security Center mobile app. This helps them keep an eye on incidents or verify jackpot wins from anywhere on the casino floor.
Ease of Reporting Helps Casino Adhere to Government Laws
With the help of CCS, a custom integration was developed to speed up reporting for casino legislated events such as Title 31: Currency transactions in excess of $10,000 that occur within a 24-hour period single Gaming Day must be fully reported, containing enough information to accurately identify the individual(s) transacting the currency.
When such events occur at a game table or cashier post, casino staff simply press a duress button which prompts the system to automatically bookmark the event in Security Center, take a snapshot of the individual and send that image to a printer. The automation of the reporting process ensures that no incidents are missed, and that the data is available in case further investigations are required.
"The reporting functionality in Security Center has been very beneficial, and a timesaver when trying to find out who accessed which areas, and in pulling daily event lists and bookmarks such as Title 31," explained Turner.
From a maintenance perspective, Active Directory integration has been a very useful tool for IT at Stones Gambling Hall. "Managing the bulk enrollment of all the access control credentials, creating user groups, making sure the credentials are accurate, and ensuring cardholders have proper door access privileges has been very straightforward. The synchronization between Active Directory and Security Center is seamless and makes my job easier," explained David Gray, IT Manager at Stones Gambling Hall.
Casino Security Benefits Entire Community
With the new security system in place at Stones Gambling Hall, the whole neighbourhood has seen a reduction in crime, and on many occasions, the casino has been able to help local businesses solve crimes by capturing incidents on outdoor cameras. They are considering adding the AutoVu license plate recognition component as it would allow them to be immediately notified when unpermitted individuals arrive on site.
"Our team has a lot of ground to cover at all hours of the day, and Security Center has given us the ability to respond and see what happened at a moment's notice. The unified solution provides so much more functionality than anything I've seen on the market, and we are happy to keep growing our security system with Genetec," concluded Turner.