In It to Wynn It
State-of-the-art resort takes systems integration to new heights
When the Wynn Macau resort in China opened its doors on Sept. 6, 2006, it established new standards of excellence in gaming and entertainment. Those standards also included the best in technology.
In addition to becoming one of the most luxurious resort destinations in the world, Wynn Macau hosts what is widely believed to be one of the largest, most fully integrated video surveillance and security systems ever implemented. The facility’s infrastructure is awe inspiring for anyone even remotely interested in technology; for example, the resort features a fully integrated video surveillance and security system that employs a unique networked digital/analog hybrid configuration, including close to 4,000 cameras and 100 displays that makes impressive seem like an understatement.
Building a facility like Wynn Macau carries a hefty price tag. Estimates reach as high as $1.2 billion, which buys a lot of amenities—600 deluxe hotel rooms and suites, 220 gaming tables and 380 slot machines—architecturally blended into 100,000 square feet of casino gaming space. Additionally, Wynn Macau boasts several restaurants, a full spa, a salon, entertainment lounges and meeting facilities, plus 26,000 square feet of retail space. The challenge of providing a safe and secure environment for patrons and employees is compounded by the sheer size and scope of the facility.
Securing Wynn Macau
With the design and implementation of Wynn Las Vegas’ sophisticated video surveillance and security systems completed, Wynn’s design and development department teamed with M. Malia & Associates, a wholly owned subsidiary of North American Video, early in 2004 to design and implement a complete surveillance and security solution for Wynn Macau.
A fast-track project from day one, Wynn Macau presented its own set of logistical issues that needed to be managed by the most efficient means possible to keep the installation and implementation process on track and, most importantly, on time. The primary challenge was the physical location of the facility relative to both operations and security measures.
“We immediately deployed our top project management team to Macau to get acclimated with the environment and meet with the various contractors involved, so they could learn early the most efficient means of getting things done,” said Cynthia Freschi, president of North American Video. “The speed of this project required that we tackle several issues simultaneously. The deployment of our staff to work the site was critical to the overall process.”
From the beginning, Wynn’s team set a high bar for system performance and integration with particular attention paid to securing the perimeter and surrounding grounds of the facility, an area of perceived threat, given the location.
“As with the advanced video and security system installed at our Las Vegas property, we set out to install a comprehensive solution that provides integrated capabilities to assure efficiency and performance,” said Peter Wilson, director of surveillance at Wynn Macau.
Additionally, high priorities were established for integrating the facility’s access and life safety systems and for working with other business systems to provide centralized monitoring of both.
“We set our expectations high, using our most recent collective experience with Wynn Las Vegas as a barometer. The design and installation team responded to these requirements by delivering a comprehensive integrated security system in the form of a unique enterprise solution,” Freschi said. “While none of the system technologies deployed at Wynn Macau are unique in typical standalone applications, the unprecedented integration of these systems across several product platforms on such a massive scale involved extreme coordination with manufacturers and a great deal of software-based customization from our team.”
Implementing Top Security
“Construction issues are always a significant factor at large installation sites, and Wynn Macau is among the largest gaming construction projects I’ve ever seen,” Wilson said. “The majority of security equipment needed to be installed after walls and ceilings were in place, and the installer presented a detailed plan closely coordinated with construction schedules.”
To maximize efficiencies and conserve time, the installation team pre-tested and configured most of the systems off-site and had them ready for installation when construction windows permitted. This allowed them to overcome issues before they became obstacles.
To manage various stages of the process, the project management team was divided by system categories with a project foreman assigned to supervise each work group. The entire project was overseen by John Phillips, the company’s technical director. Every camera was connected to the matrix system, tested and then numbered individually prior to shipping to the site. The entire recording system also was configured, tested, cabled and calibrated to specification prior to shipment. The matrix and recording system was first tested in blocks of 32 cameras, and then racked in increments of 192 inputs until the entire system passed rigorous quality controls. Each rack was then meticulously packaged, crated and labeled complete with reassembly instructions, then placed on a cargo ship for its long journey from the Las Vegas facility to Macau.
“Seldom are systems tasked with the intense requirements as established for Wynn Macau. Technology, hardware and infrastructure limitations of the recent past would have prohibited a system of this scale. The Honeywell enterprise system, as integrated in a one-of-a-kind configuration, is a testament to the product and overall solution,” Freschi said. “We moved in and started re-assembling the control and recording components as soon as the construction team gave us the go-ahead. Our off-site preparation made this process move along smoothly and allowed us to concentrate on the physical installation, knowing we had previously addressed the first stages of the installation.”
Additionally, Macau gaming practices differ from those of the United States. Macau gaming tables have up to nine positions that can result in back-betting up to three deep and can result in as many as 27 bets being placed simultaneously on a single table. This practice presented its own set of issues and challenges when configuring the video surveillance system. To address the situation, MMA worked closely with Wynn, along with Patricia Fischer, executive director of surveillance for Wynn Resorts, by testing various camera configurations in mock-up rooms constructed to simulate table conditions at Wynn Macau in the Las Vegas property.
Unprecedented Systems Integration
Wynn’s security experts and North American Video took this challenge to the extreme, making system design adjustments and enhancements throughout installation and system implementation to accommodate the ever-expanding system requirements. The resulting system at Wynn Macau is a highly-integrated, operator-friendly, enterprise-wide monitoring and recording solution. Integrated systems include video surveillance, access control with biometric readers, RFID tracking systems, alarm and intrusion systems, pedestrian turnstiles with people counters, exterior gates, player tracking, mantraps, slot data reporting, point of sale and environmental systems.
North American Video selected Honeywell’s VideoBloX Full Crosspoint Matrix Switch Chassis, complete with active UTP receiver inputs controlled via the MAXProNet Video Management System CPU and software to accommodate and control the thousands of cameras slated for the system and various integrated security and related systems. Honeywell’s VideoBloX is a large-capacity video/audio matrix switcher featuring a high-density, compact design that occupies less rack space than competitive systems, which is always a concern in gaming environments where space is at a premium. The system is expandable to accommodate up to 9,999 video inputs and 512 video outputs, making it ideal for Wynn Macau’s massive camera deployment and planned expansion. The MaxProNet provides direct interface via the HLI to Honeywell’s Ultrakey® highly programmable system touchscreen keyboard/controller. Custom macros are configured to control the mantraps through the Lenel On-Guard® EAS solution.
“Our ability to customize this system to meet the facility’s integration requirements, along with the ability to reprogram operations, provided the right combination of assets we wanted for this installation,” Freschi said.
Nearly 4,000 cameras—including approximately 1,800 cameras currently being integrated for Wynn Macau’s expansion project, which is near completion—are recorded digitally at varying frame rates depending on their coverage assignments. The digital recording system allows more than 30 users to simultaneously view, record, play back, interrogate and archive recorded material, and features automatic fail-over redundancy and diagnostics. The security solution at Wynn Macau resides on a dedicated network. The network configuration also provides remote monitoring and access to the video surveillance and security system for Wynn Macau executives who have been granted access, the police department and gaming regulators via remote connections. The remote access capability also serves to provide digital recording redundancy at virtually any location of an emergency.
Monitoring thousands of cameras in the security and surveillance monitor rooms is a tremendous feat for even the largest surveillance/security staff. Wynn Macau’s monitor room features more than a hundred displays and dozens of workstations, plus Ultrakey controllers and custom consoles provided by Winstead. North American Video developed a unique video routing system to give Wynn Macau’s surveillance/security personnel the ability to call up any live or recorded video stream on any display without processing delays and selection conflicts. The solution will be used as a model for future system deployments at facilities with large numbers of cameras and similar viewing requirements.
“Integration with POS applications for retail, and food and beverage outlets was a high priority,” Freschi said. “The Honeywell integrated data manager solution allows Wynn Macau’s surveillance staff to immediately search the POS database using virtually any parameter and call up the video that matches the incident. They also can program alarm activities based on established policies and instantly monitor and recall transactions. This highly sophisticated server-based solution allowed us to network and integrate via the network hundreds of points of interest. It’s a powerful solution that provides efficiencies on many different platforms.”
Preparing for Change
If there’s one thing that doesn’t change when planning a security system, even for a state-of-the-art mega-facility like Wynn Macau, it is the fact that things will change. Planning for the inevitable also is a priority. All of the cameras in Wynn Macau are networked with multi-camera power supplies specially designed by Altronix.
“This was a significant design consideration, since it allows us to easily accommodate changes in camera placement by simply changing the camera assignment at the punch-downs in the control rooms,” Freschi said.
Coax and/or copper cabling from the field devices terminate to custom racks and/or NEMA enclosures prefabricated to include the system’s multi-camera power supplies, universal twisted-pair devices, data distribution, alarm panels and associated equipment. From these telecommunications rooms, a backbone consisting of hundreds of pairs of CAT-5, along with a few strands of fiber, is run back to the command center, where the cabling is punched down and/or terminated to the matrix switch and other control devices. With this solution, the integrator has the flexibility to relocate cameras if necessary, without the need to move conduit, keeping the state-of-the-art security system prepared for the future.