6 Ways Surveillance Teams Can Improve Loss Prevention
On the casino floor, theft, overdrinking, and disorderly conduct are frequent occurrences. In this notoriously incident-prone environment, casino security and surveillance teams may consider loss prevention is one of their biggest challenges.
Even with budgets shrinking and resources stretching thinner, workloads and expectations continue to increase. So how do you do more with less? How do you ensure you’re providing the best security and protection from theft – both internally and externally.
The answer? Take a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. Boosting surveillance tactics to prevent theft before it happens enables you to better manage your time, effort, and resources. Your surveillance team is the eyes in the ceiling, and with greater efficiency, quicker response times, and better strategies, you can catch and prevent theft more effectively – even if your budget is limited.
We’ve outlined a few key tactics and tips for optimizing surveillance efforts and using resources as efficiently as possible.
6 TIPS FOR IMPROVING LOSS PREVENTION
1) Look for Trends and Patterns
Occasionally there may be more—and rowdier—patrons than usual at certain times, places, or events, such as a ladies’ night or a particular bar on the property. If you’re aware that incidents are more likely to occur during these times or at specific locations, you can plan ahead and staff appropriately.
You might also notice patterns in the way patrons might be interacting with your property—when they’re entering; which games they’re playing; and their wins, losses, and interactions with others on the property. If their actions or interactions stand out, then you know to keep a sharp eye on them the next time they enter the casino.
Keeping track of this level of information with traditional pen-and-paper reporting methods is nearly impossible, though. Digging through various sources of supporting documents to compile and analyze information wastes hours of valuable time. So how do you make sure you’re gathering enough information to identify impermissible trends?
With a comprehensive, integrated reporting system and exploratory analytics, you can cancel out the noise, focus on the data, and easily spot trends in incidents. Unlike paper reporting, a digital platform allows you to write, track, and manage reports with the click of a button, enabling you to analyze what’s happening and proactively investigate as needed.
2) Write Consistent, Detailed Reports
Spotting trends and patterns in incident data requires having a proper recordkeeping system in place. It’s impossible to juggle the vast amount of information required for effective loss prevention with traditional paper records or segregated in-house reporting systems. Relying on outdated systems and practices results in records that are inconsistent, incomplete, and insecure.
For example, if two reports are written about incidents occurring near a specific entrance, one surveillance operator might refer to it as “the parking lot entrance,” while another might call it “the south entrance.” These inconsistencies often occur with traditional reporting methods, making it difficult to gather evidence and identify trends.
By implementing a consistent, centralized, and reliable reporting method, surveillance teams can minimize human error and compile stronger reports. A streamlined reporting system can be used across multiple departments and properties to manage and document a broad range of incidents, increasing accountability and credibility.
3) Keep an Eye on Internal Issues
Don’t turn a blind eye to casino personnel; in some cases, internal theft is more common than external theft. In fact, recent surveys have shown that about 50% of casino theft is committed by employees. This often happens in cash-handling positions on the casino floor, but it’s most common in food and beverage positions.
Even if this type of theft seems minimal—for example, a bartender pours a double shot and only charges the patron for a single—it adds up, and surveillance teams need to keep an eye on it. With consistent, detailed reports, you can document an employee’s suspicious activity and use those records as future evidence.
This due diligence can prevent revenue loss from lawsuits, as well. If an employee is terminated due to criminal activity and they later file a lawsuit against the casino, having accurate documents, media files, and evidence to support your decision can save the casino a lot of money.
4) Spend More Time Surveying and Less Time Reporting
With limited time and resources, it can be a challenge for surveillance teams when reporting takes up the biggest chunk of their time. For effective loss prevention, it’s imperative to ensure your team’s time is spent actively monitoring the floor, preventing incidents, and dealing with issues as they come up – at their desk writing reports.
Implementing an automated reporting platform eliminates cumbersome manual reporting processes. Robust, automated reporting systems help increase efficiency, so loss prevention personnel can return to the floor as soon as possible. The best solutions can also help you ensure your reports are compliant with state regulations and gaming commission requirements.
5) Communication Among Individuals and Departments
Traditionally, security and surveillance teams have operated mostly independently of each other, using separate systems to keep track of different areas of the casino. But to ensure effective loss prevention efforts, teams shouldn’t operate in silos. There’s great value to be found in desegregating these teams and sharing information between them. Working together—both with peers on security and surveillance teams and the rest of casino staff—provides loss prevention personnel with a 360-degree view of the casino.
Clear, open communication between departments broadens the bandwidth of loss prevention teams and enables better visibility, reporting, awareness, and prevention of incidents.
6) Focus on Prevention
Ultimately, the goal of security and surveillance teams should be to prevent loss and ensure the safety of casino guests and personnel. Staying ahead of potential threats is the only way to effectively protect casino assets.
By sharing information across departments, writing consistent reports using a centralized system, and watching for trends and patterns, your team can boost its prevention efforts tenfold. Facial recognition software is another tool for further maximizing your operation’s prevention efforts.
With a limited headcount in high-traffic environments, it can be difficult to determine if a suspect is still in the building or if they trespass after being banned from the casino. But with software in place that integrates media files—like pictures, videos, and scanned driver’s licenses—with your watch list, the addition of an optional facial recognition component can help you automatically identify banned patrons through surveillance video. This add-on functionality enables your staff to be alerted as soon as an undesirable person enters the building, so they can be met at the door and escorted out immediately.
TEAMS, TACTICS, and TECHNOLOGY
Bottom line: traditional surveillance procedures and reporting systems aren’t capable of keeping pace with today’s loss prevention needs. Loss prevention personnel do everything possible with limited resources to keep a watchful eye over the casino floor, maintain game integrity, and protect assets – but dated surveillance practices and reporting methods are slowing them down.
The only way to effectively protect patrons, employees, and assets is to utilize the right combination of teamwork, tactics, and technology. A centralized reporting system eliminates errors and improves efficiency with automated data, flexible reporting, and exploratory analytics, enabling surveillance teams to proactively identify trends key to preventing loss and ensuring safety.
Up-to-date technology allows surveillance teams to spend more time preventing and handling loss prevention. By communicating with team members, keeping an eye on employees, and identifying suspicious trends, you can further maximize your budget and maintain effectiveness, despite lean surveillance staffing.
Information is power—and improving loss prevention requires being proactive and widening the scope of your surveillance capabilities. With a robust, automated reporting system that provides real-time information to back up your efforts and guide your way, your surveillance team can operate more efficiently and limit your casino’s exposure to revenue loss.
For more than 20 years, Omnigo software solutions have been the preferred choice for law enforcement, education, healthcare, gaming, hospitality, and corporate enterprises. Currently, Omnigo’s solutions are used by over 2,000 customers in 20 different countries. At Omnigo, we’re committed to helping customers secure their organizations’ property, control operational costs, and ensure the safety of the general public.
We believe our customers deserve the best support available to protect their people, assets, and brand. We also understand how challenging it can be to protect the community without the proper resources. We’re here to arm users with the best tools in the industry. With a team that includes former law enforcement, first responders, and other public safety professionals, we’re uniquely qualified to understand exactly what our customers need to protect their community.
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