The six casinos of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Nation provide the means for the tribe to create opportunities in education and business development for both its tribal members and other Wisconsin residents. The network of casinos, scattered throughout central Wisconsin, features a total of 175,000 square feet of casino floor space, 5,000 slot machines and about 100 table games including blackjack, poker and roulette. The facilities also feature such amenities as hotels and fine dining, convention centers, camp grounds and entertainment venues.
Because of the importance of the casinos to the Ho-Chunk Nation, keeping the security and surveillance technology and infrastructure current – and planning for the future – is critical to the operation. Since the systems were first deployed, the original VCRs have been replaced with digital recording systems to create a hybrid digital surveillance system. Additional plans called for a complete digital system, standardized on all sites to the same platform for ease of operation and economies of scale. The upgrade blueprint for the multi-site project also included new cameras at most locations along with renovated control rooms featuring new operator furniture/review consoles, monitor walls with large screen displays and the integration of the video surveillance system with the casinos’ point of sale (POS) systems. The infrastructure improvements to support the digital solution required new field cabling at each of the locations.
The challenge for the Ho-Chunk Nation was to find the right partner to complete the turnkey design/build for the multi-site project. To take on a project of this magnitude, technological competence, solid experience and a strong track record were essential resources that would be needed by the integrator. As the project moved forward and plans would need to accommodate changes in construction schedules and casino operations, these capabilities would be even more essential. The integrator partner would be required to work on parallel projects in separate locations as well as manage any last minute requests or developments – and still bring the project to completion on time and at budget.
A complex bid, presentation, evaluation and selection process led to the selection of NAV by the Nation as the integrator to handle this multisite upgrade. Beginning with the initial installation at the Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa casino, NAV dedicated multiple technical resources to the project. This strategy worked to everyone’s advantage when Ho-Chunk casino management requested that casino upgrades be fast-tracked and done in parallel. The NAV team’s work at each site consisted of the following: installing new cabling for the advanced security and surveillance network; removing old analog cameras and installing new IP video surveillance cameras and accessories; integrating the video cameras with the POS systems; renovating and upgrading the control room; and removing existing DVRs and connecting the system to the new Unity servers.
Projects of this scale and complexity, in a live casino surveillance environment, rarely go as originally laid out on paper. The NAV team knew this and was able to leverage its operations resources to meet the schedule and budget without disrupting casino business.
NAV’s capabilities in project management and technology expertise enabled the team to meet all of the challenges faced in this large scale project.