Deadwood, S.D., may be trading in on the notoriety of its founding through the recent HBO series “Deadwood,” but the South Dakota Gaming Commission ensures that the days of the Wild West are over in the casinos it oversees, like the new one at the recently remodeled Franklin Hotel in Deadwood.
Opened June 4, 1903, the historic hotel offered guests amenities that were rare at the time, such as telephones, running water, radiant heat and electricity in each room. Past guests include President Theodore Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Pearl Buck and John Wayne. More recent guests include members of the Kennedy family, Mary Hart and country singers Willie Nelson and Big & Rich.
Helping to bring law and order to the casino is a security system that includes the extensive video surveillance required by the state’s gaming commission. The security company chosen for the project was 5 Star Audio/Video Systems, Sturgis, S.D.
5 Star has been providing security to casinos and other properties in the area, such as ski resorts, since the company was founded by Dennis Roberts in the mid-1980s.
The first phase of the restoration included 80 video surveillance cameras that are divided among five servers to provide the required 30 frames-per-second (fps), real-time video coverage of the tables and guests entering and exiting the facility.
Cat 5e cable with five extra lines was run to each room. The cable also was run up the elevator shaft to each floor and outside to the front and rear for the perimeter of the property.
The DVR used in this casino was requested by the customer because it uses the product at other properties, including The Silverado Casino located across the street from the Franklin Hotel. Both the Franklin Hotel and the Silverado use digital video recording equipment from i3DVR International, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
Fixed cameras are used for the floor, slot machines, bar or anything that the customer or the gaming commission wants covered, Roberts notes. PTZs and high-resolution cameras are used for detail on the card tables.
“We can run 30 fps to meet gaming standards,” Roberts relates. “Everything is running at real time.”
The system can grab photo printouts from the video and archive it at any time, he says.
“Anybody who comes into the casino, we’re taking pictures of them,” Roberts reveals. “Once you come through, we have a nice head shot if we ever need it. We’ve used that many times for the police departments.”
High picture quality can be obtained from freeze-framing the video, Roberts maintains. “It’s just like a photo, even better than the actual shot you see on the screen, because you can manipulate and lighten and darken it, and get rid of the backlight,” he explains.
Everything is networked in a switching system that the owners can access from their other casino across the street.
“You can pull it up at the manager’s office,” Roberts explains. “It’s all in-house; it’s very secure. As far as the casino goes, I need to have a system that’s very, very secure. We never connect to the Internet because there are regulations. They don’t permit that.”
One thing people sometimes forget is the importance of lighting to video picture quality. “I always like to get together with the people doing the lighting,” Roberts asserts. “It’s like a movie – it’s 50 percent lighting and 50 percent video. If the lighting is not done right, you’ll get glare and hot spots. You can have the best camera in the world, but if it’s fighting the lighting, I’m not going to guarantee my video.”
But opening is dependent upon successfully passing inspection of the video and facility by the gaming commission.
“They can spend all that money, but if the gaming inspection does not pass, they can’t open the doors,” Roberts notes. “We want everybody to do their thing, but at the end, we know it’s going to be a push, a real push. It’s always the same because we’re the last ones in.”
Sidebar: On the JobFrom i3DVR International, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada (www.i3dvr.com)
- 5 servers: SRX-48016A RM SRX E Class i3 series 2.5 TB, RAID box 16 channels rack mount with audio (4), 480 fps RAID 5 array
- 78 fixed cameras: DEC 188 3-axis camera 520 TVL with a 2.9mm - 10mm varifocal lens 0.05 Lux, AWC, AGC on/off, BLC on/off, 100mm smoke dome
- 2 PTZ cameras: PQB220 6-in. high- performance dome, smoked ceiling mount, motorized 22X zoom (digital 10X) 470 pixel, 80 presets
- 8 high-resolution cameras: Z2208 22X optical zoom color camera, built-in auto-focus and auto iris, highly sensitive, 1/4-inch CCD, 480 TVL, UTP
- 5 power supplies: i3-24A12-P18, 18 channels, 24 VAC 12A
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