by Jared Shelly
Las Vegas casinos are known for their steadfast security. Casino surveillance cameras dotted gaming areas long before indoor cameras went mainstream. Security personnel are ever-present on the floor and entrances. But security can’t catch every threat. What about a gun in a suitcase, or an explosive device beneath clothing?
Casinos could filter guests through metal detectors or body scanners akin to airport protocols — but that’s no way to welcome people to the “entertainment capital of the world.”
The Plaza Hotel & Casino has found a way to increase security without turning the property into a fortress. Patriot One’s PATSCAN Multi-Sensor Threat Detection Platform combines advanced sensor technologies with powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning software to detect weapons, bombs, and disturbances.
“It’s like another set of eyes that don’t blink,” said Jay Franken, Vice President of Operations at the Plaza.
Franken and his team chose PATSCAN because it silently performs safety scans while guests walk through hotel and casino entrances. No removing shoes or jackets. No long lines for metal detectors or body scanners. In many cases, guests don’t even know they’ve been scanned.
“We wanted a system that’s not intrusive and doesn’t cause alarm. When you have to disrobe or face ominous, obtrusive looking metal detectors, it’s very disturbing,” said Franken. “Our guests enter for entertainment purposes in a casual manner — and we want to keep it casual, even though we’re providing a heightened level of safety and security.”
PATSCAN also helps the property manage new COVID-19 procedures: scanning for high temperatures and guests without masks. If someone is found to have a temperature of 100.4 or more, the Plaza team isolates them temporarily. Sometimes they just need to cool down from the hot Vegas sun. Other times, they might be sent home because they’re at risk for COVID-19.
Quicker threat response
The casino surveillance and security teams are working together to use PATSCAN, training on the system’s technical capabilities while developing protocols for approaching guests and employees who pinged the system. They’re testing and refining procedures that ease tensions and provide minimal disruption to other guests.
The Plaza team is excited by the prospect of responding to threats quicker than ever before. PATSCAN alerts security immediately when there is a potential issue, sending a screenshot and description of the event.
“When it comes to safety and security, time is of the essence. PATSCAN gives us more time to deal with potentially dangerous situations,” said Franken.
The Plaza security and tech teams didn’t have to uninstall the intricate casino surveillance systems or buy expensive new cameras. Instead, Patriot One software and equipment is compatible with existing systems.
“It’s a huge relief and a huge cost savings,” said Franken.
Las Vegas was forever changed by the October 1, 2017 shooting on the Strip that left 61 dead after a gunman opened fire at a concert. Security policies and procedures in the resort corridor changed immediately. The Plaza team sees the Patriot One partnership as a logical next step.
“This covers literally all aspects of safety and security,” said Franken. “A lot of those things are intertwined and we’re happy to have a system that can perform so many security functions.”
Dietmar Wennemer, President and COO of Patriot One, said resorts and casinos are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of passive scan systems and are keen to follow the Plaza’s lead.
“With the re-opening of resorts and casinos, we’re seeing an increase in interest for our solutions, including our elevated body temperature solution, which can assist in identifying potential viral threats,” said Wennemer.
After signing on with Patriot One, Franken believes casino surveillance and security is just the beginning for the technology.
“I can see the benefit of scans at establishments like movie theaters, shopping malls, anywhere with large gatherings,” said Franken. “This solution is very broad.”
Jared Shelly is a freelance writer who writes about business and emerging technology. The opinions and positions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions and positions held by Patriot One Technologies and inclusion of persons, companies, or methods herein should not be interpreted as an endorsement.