Casino Solution Is Integration Gaming Changer

North American Video equips the new Maryland Live! Casino with an advanced video, access and POS solution. The intensive project is particularly noteworthy for its third-party VMS integration featuring digital recording with 800 IP cameras, and analytics logic engine for people and car counting.

Pelco cameras
are tested in the casino’s surveillance equipment room by Technician Edward Schaeffer before being installed.When a card is swiped at any of the 35-plus card readers located throughout the property, a pop-up window appears in the Synergy GUI with a picture of the team member that is requesting access. At this point, the operator is able to compare that image with an image of the team member accessed via the HR database (synched up-to-the minute with surveillance) to verify the person’s identity.

Additionally, the casino wanted a way to determine whether patrons from the parking garage were going into the casino or into the retail center. To accomplish this, NAV installed Synectics’ iSynx people counting video analytics. To acquire as accurate a count as possible, it was determined that visitors needed to flow from the parking garage elevators into a vestibule area. Here patrons either turn into the retail space or into the casino.

Very specific camera placements are required to make this process work.  A total of 16 cameras are being used and divided between people exiting the elevators, those exiting through the retail doors and patrons entering the casino through a designated entry sectioned off by stanchions. The count is generated and determined by the iSynx analytics server and then the net count is passed on to the Synergy VMS.

“Maintaining Maryland Live! Casino’s standard of using leading-edge technology across its operations drove our choice of systems,” says Valdez. “We are looking to set the pace for the nation’s gaming industry regarding surveillance so Synectics’ ability to deliver custom integrations was critical.”

Simplifying a Complex Installation

From the time NAV won the $2 million project in December 2011 to the formal handover to Maryland Live! on Oct. 15, 2012, it presented a range of complexities that were to be expected from this large an installation. With surveillance installation being one of the last trades to start work, the schedule of construction proved to be very challenging.

“Because of the tight schedule, final programming and focus to pass gaming inspection was compressed into a short amount of time in order to be ready for the opening,” says Jason Woodward, NAV operations manager. “NAV’s experience with casino integration has prepared us for these situations so we were able to adjust to the time constraints with the necessary resources.”

Also, to comply with Maryland gaming regulation, minority business participation was a condition of the contract, and it was under NAV’s purview to schedule, coordinate and manage the construction process to comply.

“While NAV worked directly for the end user, we coordinated with the general contractor who was responsible for hiring the local subcontractors working in the areas of low-voltage cabling, electrical and HVAC,” says Woodward. “This proved to be a challenge because we were the face of the project to the customer and yet were not the ones actually hiring all the subcontractors.”

As a result, some extensive coordination was required by NAV to troubleshoot and resolve various issues that involved multiple trades.

Prior to slots arriving, an initial amount of cameras had to be installed, reviewed and approved by the MarylanSurveillance Supervisor Charles McKeldin (far right) oversees video monitoring by surveillance operators in the Maryland Live! Casino control room.d Lottery to ensure adequate coverage as required by regulation. Because local vendors were hired to install cameras, some additional effort was called for to help them achieve the necessary camera angles.

Another aspect of the installation that offered unique challenges was the integration between the vehicle counting system, the parking garage display sign system and the VMS. Because this was an integrated solution that had never been done before, coordination between NAV, Synectics, TCS vehicle counting, and the sign company was key to getting the details needed to make the systems communicate with each other. NAV’s onsite team was integral to facilitating this process and streamlining the entire project.

“Overall there was a great deal of coordination and cooperation required by all the major players, including the general contractor, vendors, state gaming, surveillance integrator and manufacturer, etc., in terms of understanding what was needed to meet the requirements for minimum camera coverage and risk protection,” says Valdez.

According to Oakley, all parties involved have expressed their delight with the end product and appreciation for all the work that was done to overcome the inevitable obstacles in a complex construction project of this nature. “NAV looks forward to a continued long-term relationship with Synectics, Maryland Live! and The Cordish Companies,” he says.

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