The Best Bet
The gaming industry looks at HD over coax
- By Jennifer Hackenburg
- Mar 01, 2018
The casino and hospitality industry includes hotels,
restaurants, entertainment venues as well as gaming
elements to entertain visitors and guests. The casino
industry generates high revenues: in 2016, global
land-based casinos had a gross win of around $450
billion from gamblers. The industry also possesses substantial
amounts of cash and other high-ticket items and goods, in addition
to large crowds and high-profile guests that must be safe and secure
at all times.
The casino and gaming industry is governed by strict rules and
regulations to preserve the integrity of gaming activities. For example,
according to the Nevada Gaming Commission Regulation,
remote viewing must be delivered in real time and at a minimum of 30
frames per second. The laws, which are established by state agencies,
dictate stringent specifications for video surveillance of gambling
businesses and the dependable and solid performance of a casino’s
Defending against security threats using video surveillance in
casinos and gaming facilities can be expensive and complicated.
Adopting the latest security video solutions such as IP video cameras
usually comes at a high price. In addition to the cost of new video
surveillance products, it often requires a new investment in casino infrastructure
— such as running new cabling and purchasing back-end
equipment — which can quickly erode a casino or gaming facility’s
Return on Investment and increase Total Cost of Ownership.
Many casino surveillance systems that are in use today were built
on coax infrastructure that remains in good condition, but were designed
for lower resolution and functionality than current IP video
When casino security is looking to upgrade its surveillance system,
one option is to upgrade to an IP platform based on Ethernet cabling,
but ripping and replacing the entire system infrastructure can
be a disruptive and costly project. Gaming regulations require that
all casino gaming activities be monitored at all times, so completely
shutting down operations to overhaul a surveillance system is not a
One pragmatic solution for a casino security director is to leverage
its legacy infrastructure by replacing older analog cameras with
new devices that deliver the higher levels of resolution that a casino
New HD Over Coax cameras offer higher resolutions than what
was previously available for the original crop of analog cameras.
High definition over coax technologies available are: Analog High
Definition (AHD), Composite Video Interface (HDCVI), Serial Digital
Interface (HD-SDI), and Transport Video Interface (HD-TVI).
Most HD over Coax cameras offer video at 30 frames per second,
the industry standard for casinos, and seamlessly integrates traditional
analog surveillance systems with the latest High Definition cameras
over a casino’s existing coax network by simultaneously transmitting
video, power, audio and data signals over a single coaxial cable. These
cameras are changing the landscape of video surveillance, allowing
casino security to upgrade to higher resolution at a lower cost.
It is a true plug-and-play approach that enables HD video surveillance
without the hassle and expense of ripping and replacing legacy
coax cabling, without any sacrifice in performance, and without costly
In addition to leveraging existing investments in legacy system infrastructure,
HD analog cameras allow for long-distance HD video
transmission up to 1,200 meters without repeaters for strong cost
and performance benefits. This is important in a casino environment, with large gaming spaces, parking lots, restaurants, and other entertainment
Another benefit of HD analog cameras is the ability to deliver
the resolution in real-time to capture the smallest details in a casino.
Their higher number of pixels provides increased digital zoom performance
without pixilation versus traditional HD cameras. This allows
security operators to see further into the distance with greater
definition. The added resolution is especially important for casinos
that require higher levels of detail, such as playing card faces and
chip and currency denominations, as well as jewelry, tattoos and
other unique identifying factors that conventional security cameras
typically can’t deliver.
The use of high-quality HD over Coax cameras coupled with a
compatible DVR with advanced analytics can help detect irregular
objects left behind that could pose a security risk. Facial recognition
technology also can be used to identify high rollers or known cheaters,
and heat mapping technology can identify popular areas and
tables at different times of the day, allowing casinos to increase guard
presence when needed.
Even more, while customer crime is a major concern for casino
management, employee crime is equally concerning. This includes
using POS devices for fraudulent recordings and theft from receiving
docks and cash-handling positions. The use of HD over Coax cameras,
with higher-resolution capabilities, can help pick up any irregular
behavior to help mitigate the risk of employee and vendor theft.
Additionally, with higher definition HD over Coax cameras, multiple
standard definition cameras can be replaced for a lower total
cost of ownership. Thus, casinos require fewer cameras, saving time
and money on installation, less overall maintenance, more accurate
monitoring, and exceptional detail for later analysis. Another result
of the higher-resolution surveillance is that it can help a casino meet
the gaming industry’s rules and regulations for monitoring and identification
in a casino environment.
Finally, since HD over Coax cameras are not connected to an IP
network, they do not present the cybersecurity risks that are typically
associated with IP cameras. Conventional physical connections
between the cameras, DVRs, and other system components prevent
possible hacking or other cyber-threats for analog systems. With the
ever-increasing amount of sensitive and personal information stored
on networked drives at businesses of all types, the value of removing
one more potential network entry point cannot be understated. Casino
security directors can focus on surveillance mitigating risk and
crimes without needing to spend time and money on assessing and
addressing cybersecurity risks or additional network protection measures,
such as those that are associated with IP cameras.
Casinos and gaming facilities that are hindered by the costs or
other challenges of new cabling and other equipment purchases associated
with upgrading to IP networked cameras can reap the benefits
of higher resolution over coax. High-definition over coax maximizes
existing infrastructure, offers crisp, clear images in real-time,
and provides greater cyber safety. In many casinos
and gaming facilities, HD over Coax technology
offers a simpler and more cost-effective way to
achieve gaming regulation compliance, higher imaging
performance, and reduced security risks.
This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Security Today.