Resorts World’s World-Class Surveillance

Brand-new Resorts World Casino located in New York City is equipped with a state-of-the-art 1,500-channel IP HD video surveillance system. The project’s team tells how they put together one of America’s most advanced systems incorporating a fiber backbone and POS integration.

This past October, New York saw the opening of Resorts World Casino New York City (NYC), its first legalized gambling “racino” located at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, just across the Belt Parkway from JFK Int’l Airport. An existing building at the racetrack was gutted in order to create the impressive 400,000-square-foot casino. Part of the project included installing a digital video surveillance and recording system as required by the New York Lottery (NYL) to protect not only the patrons but also the casino’s significant cash assets and expensive materials.

Resorts World NYC is a state-of-the-art facility that offers patrons 5,000 video slot machines and electronic games throughout two levels tagged as Times Square (first floor) and Fifth Avenue (second floor). In addition, the casino has 18 food and beverage outlets including a food court, two fine-dining restaurants, four VIP lounges, and two bars with views of a circular stage showing a variety of entertainment acts. The third floor has banquet and event space as Genting Group looks to expand Resorts World NYC and introduce a convention center by 2014. Genting is the world’s largest destination resort operator with more Resorts World-branded properties in Malaysia, Singapore and Manila.

Shawn Reader of Phoenix-based Security Surveillance Consultants was brought in to oversee the entire $7.5 million procurement and installation process. He has more than 30 years’ experience with a family-owned security integration business and has been involved in a range of casino projects, including Mandalay Bay and Bellagio in Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino. Reader worked hand-in-hand with John Medolla, surveillance director for Resorts World NYC, and Operations and Technical Manager Jason Arnett to specify and select the equipment to be installed in a three-phased process.

Platform Handles 1,500 Cameras

For a casino that sees $150 million a week on average pass through the facility, choosing a state-of-the-art surveillance system was paramount. Based on the past experience of both Medolla and Arnett, they selected a digital recording system from Synectics.

“The driving force behind Synectics being the system of choice for Resorts World New York was its reliable and flexible Synergy video management platform and user-friendly interface. Also a major factor in the decision was Synectics’ ability to create a cost-effective, all HD-IP digital recording solution – the first of its kind in North America,” says Medolla.

Another important feature of the platform is Synergy’s ability to pull data from other third-party systems like point-of-sale (POS) or access control. By integrating the video management system (VMS) to the casino’s Micros POS system, surveillance operators can easily review transactions within the recording platform and provide evidentiary verification of suspicious transactions.

As for why Medolla and Arnett wanted to go all IP, among the most important reasons was that it would deliver the highest quality video with the most current technology. It also enabled a space-saving solution by cutting out racks’ worth of analog gear while significantly simplifying cabling.

“Going all IP also streamlines future expansion because the infrastructure can be added to easily. It’s the difference of running a single fiber to a new closet as opposed to running dozens to hundreds of new analog feeds or utilizing expensive mux units,” says Arnett.

At the heart of the system’s IP infrastructure is a Cisco 4500 Series network switch. Covering the front (guest areas) and back of house (staff areas) for the three floors of the casino are a mix of Sanyo HD IP cameras. Internal cameras in the front of house monitor the cash assets and help protect against patron and employee theft. Exterior cameras are in place to ensure patron safety and mitigate property damage.

All of the cameras are 1,080p capable and can record at 30 frames per second (fps). Of the 1,500 cameras installed, 300 are pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) and mounted strategically throughout the casino to provide coverage of guest and employee areas, and enable visual mobility to track persons of interest or events throughout the gaming areas. The remaining fixed cameras are installed as required by NYL to cover the video lottery terminals and enable the required viewing of the asset number of each machine.

In addition to the digital recording system, a Cardax access control system was installed along with a Cheetah fire suppression system from Fike to protect the surveillance control and equipment rooms. Access control was of particular concern to the surveillance team because there are two separate business entities operating on the same property. In addition to Resorts World Casino, the New York Racing Association runs the Aqueduct Racetrack.

As a result, the casino’s access control system has five mantraps positioned in critical areas of the facility and controls access to back of house areas for employee protection. Door contacts were also installed as well as hold-up alarms in the cash cages on the casino floor. Cardax alarms can be monitored by workstations in the security and surveillance departments (operating separately) as well as by NYL, which has a separate surveillance review station onsite.

All-IP HD Video Network Deployed

Synectics worked closely with the project consultant and end user to help design the network for Resorts World’s HD IP system.

<p>The complex ceiling design on Resort World NYC“To design the network we had to determine the total number of cameras required in order to calculate the amount of data that the network would have to support every second,” says Daniel Haskell, network engineer for Synectics. “The final count of more than 1,500 streaming HD cameras, combined with the RAID-6 redundancy the customer wanted to implement, influenced the decision to design the network using the Cisco 4510 network switch at the core, with Cisco Catalyst 2960 PoE switches stacked in IDF closets positioned throughout the facility.”

Currently, there are 14 IDF closets and eventually there will be 20 when all three phases of the installation are complete later this spring.

“An all-IP deployment greatly simplifies the surveillance rack wiring by having a pair of fiber cables transport the data for hundreds of cameras versus hundreds of twisted-pair feeds having to come in to a server room and be terminated,” adds Haskell.

As part of the construction, new multimode fiber was run throughout the facility back to the surveillance room to support the existing number of deployed cameras and allow for future expansion as needed.

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