Modern casino security requires modern solutions
By Nada Ebeid
Modern security systems do much more than lock and unlock doors or sound alarms when there is a potential intrusion. Today’s sophisticated systems gather an immense amount of data. When this information is brought into one unified software solution, casinos can uncover insights that go beyond security and can improve operations. Data from video surveillance footage, access control systems, automatic license plate recognition, heat-mapping, motion sensors, and more are helping casinos improve operational efficiency and the overall customer experience.
Casinos often have multiple floors of gaming, bars, restaurants, and performance venues. Combined with the 24/7 nature of casinos and the thousands of doors and access points, casinos create a unique challenge for physical security. Yet casino management teams can see each of those aspects not simply as a challenge to security, but as an opportunity to improve customer experience.
Leveraging a unified security system
Casinos often rely on multiple disconnected systems for their various security needs. However, switching to a unified approach to security can allow the casino’s security teams to view video surveillance, access control, and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) via one single user interface. The data collected through this unified system helps staff not only protect their casino but also use this data to enhance the customer experience.
For example, the security software solution can be configured to use ALPR data to alert customer service when a VIP customer approaches the casino. The VIP team can maintain detailed profiles of these frequent visitors. When they arrive, staff members can be prepared to greet them by name as they walk in and ask if they’d like to order their favourite drink or take a seat at their usual table.
ALPR can also be used to improve the experience for a casino’s regular customers. A casino in Quebec recently reviewed its license plate data and discovered that a significant number of regular visitors came much less frequently in the winter months. Upon further investigation, they learned that many of these customers were elderly patrons who disliked driving in winter conditions or feared slipping on ice while walking through the parking lot. To alleviate this problem, the casino introduced a new free shuttle bus to make it easier for these customers to get to the venue, even in bad weather.
Data from occupancy management features can also help improve the customer experience. For example, information about peak occupancy times and locations can help casinos adapt their cleaning schedules more intelligently so that bathrooms, hallways, and other high-traffic spaces are cleaned more frequently when the casino is busy.
A unified security system can even be used to make it easier for customers to find parking. As cars enter and exit lots, data on open spaces can be updated in real time and shared with staff and on information screens, so that customers know which lot is most likely to have a space for them.
How a security system can help efficiently manage HR
Moving to a modern, unified security software solution can also allow casinos to spend less time training staff, take advantage of new efficiencies to reallocate staff resources, and ensure business continuity despite human resources challenges.
In the past, if a casino’s security team was short-staffed, it may have left the casino no choice but to reduce operating hours due to a lack of security at that specific venue. Now, casinos with multiple locations can share resources among the various locations. Any one of the casinos in the network can remotely connect to the centralized, cloud-based monitoring system to review security at other locations. This improves redundancy to limit the operational impacts due to employee absences.
A unified security system can also allow casinos to realize significant operational savings related to staff and training. Teams can operate more efficiently with intelligent automation that reduces training time and staffing requirements. On the training front, the time to onboard new employees can also be reduced due to the need to learn a single user interface versus multiple, disparate systems.
Less is more
One of the greatest surprises to many casino operators is how the introduction of a unified, modern security software solution can greatly simplify operations. People tend to assume technology introduces complexity, but in many ways, it’s the opposite. A unified solution allows casinos to improve operations with fewer servers and reduced maintenance costs. Likewise, moving to a cloud-based system can save energy, labour costs, and space.
The advantages of these savings are amplified when combined with the improvements in guest services, operations, and human resources. Using the information gathered by their security system, casinos can discover opportunities for improvement that were previously not recognized. A unified security system allows casinos to go beyond physical security and use top-of-the-line systems to deliver top-shelf customer service.
Nada Ebeid is Business Development Manager, Canada, at Genetec Inc. where she helps customers like Casino Montreal see their security installations as an investment rather than an expense and empowers them to leverage their security systems to other areas of their businesses.