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An Emerging Physical Security Model for Gaming: Prevention vs. Protection

Written by Laurie Smock | May 29, 2019 11:12:52 AM

Real-time security and surveillance is an absolute must in any target-rich environment like casinos, where large amounts of cash are on-hand, public access is encouraged to ensure gaming (revenue) traffic, and strict compliance regulations are mandated for operation. What’s more, in the unfortunate event that surveillance goes off-line for any reason, the affected gaming areas must cease operation, causing a loss in revenues.

Today’s physical security systems are smarter (and more reliable) than ever, aided by the implementation of intelligent analytics such as facial and license plate recognition. These technologies are becoming powerful and accurate enough to identify potential threats before incidents occur - ideally, at the perimeter where they can be stopped more easily. Driven by today’s powerful software management platforms, new and emerging analytics continue to move security models from a reactionary mode to a preventive mode when integrated to their fullest potential. And despite all the discussion of AI and Machine Learning buzzing about the industry, we are truly just seeing the beginning of the full potential of intelligent analytics on a practical scale.


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Moving forward, one of the most significant benefits to gaming facilities will be a shift in physical security models from real-time protection to prevention. The vast amounts of data capable of being captured and analyzed by networked physical security systems, and all of the various end-point devices that supplement them, can provide new levels of security and business intelligence. Such preventive measures are already being applied by government agencies to detect potential threats, but have not been widely embraced in the private sector due to budget limitations. But as more advanced physical security platforms with the ability to correlate previously disparate abnormalities from multiple data points continue to emerge, the cost barriers associated with predictive analysis will eventually erode. We can expect that gaming facilities with advanced PSIMs and VMS platforms to apply these benefits as software updates become available that support predictive analysis. Simple analysis and correlation of access control and video data are the most likely starting point. For example, an employee who accesses, or even attempts to access and is denied access to a casinos back areas when they are not on scheduled shifts, may be flagged for inquiry.

The fact is that data from multiple sources such as video surveillance, access control, environmental sensors, building operations, human resources, traffic control, and point-of-sale systems are being combined to facilitate predictive analysis at the highest levels of application. Although examples of such deployments are few and far in between, they do exist, and are helping select users identify potential situations that need investigation. Additionally, predictive analysis will also help gaming management to identify which policies are effectively enforced and which are ineffective, which will allow them to take corrective actions to maintain security and compliance.

Attaining such levels of predictive analysis is no easy task, expensive to implement, and not for the technologically faint of heart, but this is the future of physical security for gaming facilities. We are just starting to see the application of big data for higher levels of predictive analysis. But it’s happening, and it will continue at an accelerating pace as more powerful software solutions become available. To borrow a term from the past, this the new convergence.

Topics: Gaming Surveillance

Written by Laurie Smock

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