Legend in the Making
Casino end user goes the route of full IP integration
- By Todd Flowers
- Oct 01, 2013
Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino offers a Vegas-like resort and entertainment
experience to visitors and residents in the heart of the
Phoenix metro area. Opened on July 2, 2013, the property features
70,000 total square feet and 2,800 total parking spaces and
operates 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Home to 950 slot machines, 36
table games, 90 boutique hotel rooms, a 550-seat bingo hall, a variety of dining
options, a fitness center, a pool and a state-of-the-art video surveillance
and security system, this property cost roughly $135 million to build and is
located just southwest of Downtown Phoenix.
This hotel and casino aims to bring entertainment options to its guests, including
live, nationally-known and recognized bands and acts to the 6,000-squarefoot
entertainment and event center. With so many options and activities for fun,
entertainment and dining, the casino’s management created a lively and exciting
atmosphere—but not at the expense of security and protection.
To help secure and protect the property and its guests, the Gila River Gaming
Commission chose to install a high-definition, IP-based surveillance system
at the property.
Because of the advantages in the transmission of both audio and video data,
as well as control signals, IP-based surveillance has caught on in recent years.
The data provided can be synthesized into new, custom build-outs that allow
the support of HD images, analytics for operational purposes, local or
remote video storage, remote control and monitoring. Because IP video, especially
when using the H.264 standard video compression, can provide nearly
twice the compression of more traditional digital codecs, the video and audio
streams are high quality while using less bandwidth.
Vee Quiva is Gila River Casinos’ first, 100 percent, HD and IP-based camera
installation. The casino wanted HD because the technology records highquality
video that can be examined more efficiently and provides definitive
evidence for all investigations. This includes better situational awareness and
fine details that can be used in correctly identifying elements, such as faces, allowing
operators to react more quickly and reduce overall investigation time.
Tutor Perini Building Corp., the general building contractor for the project,
awarded the security installation contract to Surveillance Systems Integration,
Inc. (SSI), a comprehensive surveillance system integration company,
known for specializing in systems employing cutting-edge technologies including
HD and IP-based cameras, and a leader in casino installations.
Designing the System
SSI worked with its manufacturer partners Dallmeier and Maxxess to provide
video management system (VMS) and access control based on requests from
Integrating the point-of-sale and access control systems with Dallmeier’s
VMS was smooth, as the manufacturer directly provided the integration.
Dallmeier’s system allows seamless monitoring of all systems from one
graphic user interface. In addition, operators can easily handle and manage
different video and audio streams, including live playback and recording from
anywhere within the networked system.
The Maxxess Access Control application was an ideal choice due to the
open architecture of the application, which allows considerable flexibility for
security management implementations, including multitasking support. This
application also provides a straightforward framework for a unified operational
environment, supporting a customer-specific system that is easily connected
to any and all security systems and sub-systems to offer real-time data
for quick and effective decision making. This system is particularly ideal for
integrators, such as SSI, that need the additional flexibility for unique, tie-in
application and scaling.
Installation and Maintenance
For the Vee Quiva property, the biggest challenge was the construction schedule
of less than five months and the fact that the installation was for a new
property, not a retrofit of an existing system.
When timetables are short, projects are always more intense, with delivery
times being the most important. SSI was able to work closely with all manufacturer
partners to meet stringent delivery timelines in obtaining the original,
specified equipment on-time, hence, maintaining the construction schedule.
This really helped keep the builder’s timetable and allowed the system to
be fully operational prior to the opening.
“Since this was new construction, we had a blank slate to start with, as
we worked to meet their rigorous construction schedule, which allowed
greater flexibility in design and implementation,” said Bill Young, director of operations at SSI.
SSI’s installation and the quality of the finished product have exceeded the
general contractor’s expectations as well as those of the customer.
“The contractor, Tutor Perini, said they were impressed with the speed
and capabilities SSI brought to the project, which really helped keep them on
schedule,” said Melissa Mount, director of inside sales at SSI. “The engineers
we worked with exceeded our expectations, including their vast knowledge of
IP-based surveillance and open platforms.”
Casino CEO John J. James said in a recent interview with the Phoenix
Business Journal that the Vee Quiva aims “to exceed the expectations of all
our guests” with their training programs and “unparalleled experience that
will create lifetime memories.” One way the Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino will
accomplish this is by offering a secure and efficient property. The security surveillance,
when done in alignment with management philosophy and vision,
can offer more value to both the resort and its guests.
“The Vee Quiva property is a great example of the innovations available in
the security surveillance market today and part of what makes our property
a legend in the making,” James said. “This new system exceeds the expectations
of Gila River Casinos as it provided all elements required to successfully
monitor the enterprise. The system is user-friendly and provides the latest in
cutting edge technology.”
SSI and Dallmeier have a current service contract with Gila River Casinos
for other properties. The system installed at the new Vee Quiva property will
be rolled into the existing contract, which includes proactive maintenance
and health checks of all systems on all properties operated by Gila River.
“We need our systems to be reliable, and the service contract really adds to
the value of an installation like this because we need the system to be continuously
operating while offering the highest-quality video and audio streaming
possible,” said Tim Overstake, director of security for Gila River Casinos.
“We are confident in the system because we know that it is being monitored
for anything that might cause us issues, including availability of transmission
paths and signal quality as well as detecting any video signal losses or tampering
A major advantage of the IP-based system at the Vee Quiva property is the
ability to customize systems with different components from various manufacturers
to maximize performance.
The system SSI provided was a full, end-to-end, hardware solution that
allows for interoperability with third-party cameras through OnVIF 2.0 compliance
standards. The system is fully upgradeable and future-proof; there are
no limitations on expansion for future growth, including the addition of new
cameras. The security system covers the casino, point-of-sale locations, the
parking lot and the event center.
“The system was in place in time for Gila River Casinos to open this brandnew
casino with confidence and without the stress of trying to learn how to
operate a foreign VMS, allowing them to focus on the comfort and safety of
their guests while maximizing operational efficiency,” Mount said.
“Making a property consist fully of HD, IP-based cameras allows operators
a platform that will streamline operations, helping them spend more time
on issues other than technology. It really helped the construction schedule
[since] the customer knew what products they wanted, and we were able to
work closely with the customer to create a fully-integrated solution that tied
the access control and point-of-sale systems together with the video management
This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Security Today.