Your casino or gaming facility provides a variety of forms of entertainment and relaxation, and is a popular getaway and vacation spot for many people. To maintain that welcoming and open environment can be a challenge, as it must be balanced with the need to manage risk and liability. Your casino security teams must prevent and handle security issues, and manage a surveillance and security system, all while protecting employees, guests and assets – and complying with strict gaming regulations.
A security integrator can remediate many of those challenges, while also ensuring that the right surveillance and security system for your needs is chosen and installed correctly. The right integrator will train your security operators to help them do their job effectively, will recommend the proper system upgrades as needed, can ensure continuous system uptime, help you to meet gaming regulations, and more.
Yet, integrator companies are not created equal. Each one has a unique approach, with different focuses and specialties just like any other business. Choosing the wrong integrator can be an expensive lesson that can have disastrous effects on your casino and its long-term viability and success.
What factors should you consider in order to choose the best integrator for your casino’s security and surveillance operations? Here are four important factors to consider:
Begin by asking a few questions: How is the integrator firm structured? How long have they been in business? Do they have insurance? Who will you work with on a daily basis, and how long have they been with the firm? It’s also important to find out who answers the phone when customers call and how that person handles calls. What are their procedures and processes for after business hours and emergency situations? And what will be the main method of communication (email, phone, text)? More importantly, does this information line up with your expectations?
Knowledge of Gaming Regulations
Another factor to research is whether the integrator understands local, state, federal and/or tribal regulations for casinos and gaming facilities. Will they provide you with a solution that will eliminate security camera downtime during the installation and any service calls to ensure that you are in compliance? Any casino can have best-in-class security cameras on the gaming floor and on property and entertainment areas, but installation and service mistakes can hinder the proper functioning and place your casino at risk of non-compliance.
This may be one of the most important factors for you to research. Does the integrator have experience working with surveillance solutions for casinos and gaming facilities? How long have they worked within the industry, and what specific installations and service have they performed? Even more, do they have a solid understanding of both IP and analog camera infrastructure and requirements? An integrator who has a vast amount of experience in casino surveillance will know specific details of know how to position your security cameras to ensure compliance, capture the best images and provide the best coverage. A security integrator who has experience in surveillance systems installation for casinos and gaming facilities will also have knowledge of correct installation and maintenance of a casino’s security solution with no downtime.
Here is where you can rely on industry colleagues to assist to you in the process. Have any of your colleagues worked with the integrator firm in the past, and if so, what was their experience? Ask questions about the integrator’s knowledge, techniques and skills. Ask your colleagues to share with you their own project details, and whether the integrator was on time and on (or under) budget. In turn, the integrator firm should be able to provide you with a proven track record and references from the projects they have done. Ask the integrator about their project completion rate, including if they have ever walked away from a project, leaving it unfinished.
When you engage a systems integrator about a project, the best of them will spend time asking questions and seeking to learn about your casino’s process and needs. Most importantly, asking the right questions and taking the time to evaluate your options will ensure that you choose an integrator partner who is capable of adding value and solving problems – and not creating new ones.