Foxwoods Casino Upgrades Video Surveillance System
Foxwoods Casino expands security as facility grows
- By Michael Lohr
- Jul 11, 2018
Owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal
Nation, Foxwoods Resort Casino opened in 1992 as
the first full-service gaming facility of its kind ever established
on an Indian reservation. Today, Foxwoods
remains one of the largest casinos in North America,
which evolved over 25 years as a world class destination resort offering
a variety of family-friendly amenities in addition to six casinos,
AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants, spas, exclusive retailers and
live entertainment venues.
Since 1993, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation infused
over $4 billion in slot revenue into the Connecticut state economy
through a first-of-its kind agreement between a tribe and state, supporting
much-needed state programs and services throughout 169
GROWTH AND EXPANSION
As Foxwoods grew and expanded, so did the need for a state-of-theart,
integrated video surveillance system to provide necessary coverage
and security for the gaming facilities. The resort required new IP
cameras and existing analog products working together for a seamless
integration, which would adapt and grow as Foxwoods expanded.
A long-time customer of Red Hawk Fire & Security, Foxwoods
entrusted Red Hawk to complete the final two phases of a three-phase
project to update the resort’s analogue video system with full color IP
cameras, monitors and a new video management system. The final
project involved upgrades to the Fox Tower and Rainmaker Casinos
as well as expansion of the existing DataDirect Networks (DDN) and
Genetec video management systems.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s Surveillance Director,
Kevin Hodge maintained oversight of the project through completion.
“It was important for us to adopt the most advanced technologies
to include truly forensic-quality video as well as extended retention to
help protect our business and guests against all types of loss, including
but not limited to cheating and theft,” Hodge said. “Thanks to the
dedication, tenacity and professional skills of the Red Hawk team, all
work was completed on schedule and to very high standards. We are
happy to have an upgraded system that provides the highest level of
security for resort operations and guests.”
GAMING AROUND THE CLOCK
With thousands of visitors enjoying round-the-clock gaming excitement,
Foxwoods gradually upgraded to IP cameras through a phased approach over several years. The phase two upgrade involved more
than 600 cameras, multiple DVRs, monitors and video encoders for
the Fox Tower Casino, as well as its Cage and Count Room. Throughout
the phased-in transition, Foxwoods continued using its existing
analog cameras and infrastructure.
Foxwoods selected a variety of cameras for the upgrades, including
equipment by manufacturers AXIS and Bosch, which offered image
quality optimized for forensic purposes, regardless of the lighting
conditions. The upgraded cameras ensure excellent detail, even with
both bright and darker areas in a scene. For this application, several
different telephoto and standard lens options are used depending on
specific areas of the casino.
The third and final stage of the Foxwoods upgrade involved installation
of approximately 238 IP cameras and cabling, and the expansion
and testing of the DDN and Genetec systems. All work had to be
performed in a 24/7 casino environment where unforeseen obstacles
are an inherent reality.
Foxwoods’ upgrades were installed by Red Hawk Fire & Security
based in Orange, Connecticut. Red Hawk General Manager for
the Orange district office Dino Rocco manages the team of professionals
experienced in the application and integration of electronic
“We began the phase three upgrade with the high stakes gaming
area and moved on to the poker rooms completing the installation
and testing and meeting deadlines for each section as we went along,”
GOOD TO BE FLEXIBLE
The installation schedule required extreme flexibility, so there was always
a “Plan B” if, for any reason, the Red Hawk team was unable to
access an area scheduled for installation.
“Foxwoods’ patrons are loyal and valued, and card players often
want to play at specific tables,” Rocco said. “So, if they come in or if they
happen to be playing at their table when we’re scheduled to do work,
we would then move on to plan B and concentrate on another area.”
Since the work required the casino to close off sections of the
gaming area with security officers present during installation and
testing, the Red Hawk team had to work efficiently to bring in the Cat
6 cabling, place the cameras, install and test the RJ 11 jacks to certify
the cables paired correctly.
“Some sections were bigger than others and some had more density
where you could have 5,000 square feet to cover. It wasn’t unusual
for us to have 25 or 30 cameras to complete in one area, sometimes
over the course of a couple of days,” Rocco said. “In the last phase
when we did the work on the Bingo Hall, the work needed to be done
after hours, from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. We had to make sure we were
in and out no later than eleven in the morning because that’s about
when the buses started arriving with customers who wanted to play
at their tables.”
A key component of the new digital surveillance upgrade was
integrating the DDN Genetec system for storing and managing the
vast amounts of video data to simplify the process of navigating video
from multiple locations in and around the casino.
Everything came together seamlessly, expanding the depth of resort
security at Foxwoods. Resort staff receives the security information
they need quickly and accurately—providing both the surveillance
department and resort guests with greater peace of mind.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of Security Today.