Exclusive: Maximising security at hotels and gaming venues


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Key control is a simple way for hotels and gaming resorts to implement efficient and reliable security, reports Morse Watchmans.

Creating an amazing environment for hotel and gaming resorts involves so much attention-to-detail to ensure that the guest experience is memorable, engaging and fun. So many thoughtful, innovative ideas and decisions are made by developers, architects and designers to create visually pleasing spaces, colour palettes, furnishings, water features, artwork, botanical plantings, lighting, sound and music systems, attractions and dining options to make it a welcoming, exciting and successful venue.

Security solution technology and a comprehensive master security plan with detailed procedures by security managers are also necessary to attain and maintain compliance with strict regulations and to keep the public, employees and the physical building and grounds safe and secure.

Master security plans for these sprawling resort properties require seamless:

  • Communication – Training for all security staff and employees on security technology and their roles and regular audits maximises accountability and provides security checkpoints and information.
  • Connectivity – Security technology needs interoperability and integration to provide crucial information to get an immediate big picture of what is happening inside and outside the building.
  • Creativity – Minimising and eliminating risk of insider and outsider threats requires security managers to “think like criminals,” by finding potential vulnerabilities and adding appropriate creative security solutions.

The reasons are plentiful. Check out a few headlines from the FBI website:

2021: “Former Fortune Bay Casino Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $300,000.”

2019: “Bellingham Woman Who Used Her Employee Access to Steal $200,000 from Tribal Casino Sentenced to Prison.”

2018: “Former Executive of New York Hotel Company Admits Stealing Over $13 Million from Employer.”

These headlines will make news for years to come. Insider threats are part of the security team’s challenges at hotel and gaming properties. Outsider threats involve terrorism, data breaches, room invasions, arson and theft. If only security personnel could see everything happening in actual time simultaneously.

The best security solutions for hotel and gaming operations address compliance and safety with connectivity between all departments, accountability among employees and appropriate usage of on-site security technology. Besides video surveillance and access control systems, electronic key control is a crucial technology that helps hotel and gaming resorts address mandated regulations and compliance.

Electronic key control secures all physical keys and provides access control and asset management solutions to communicate, connect and create hotel and gaming security information to prevent incidents of theft.

Key control as a communication tool

Communication and training for hotel and gaming employees on electronic key control usage and its features enforces security policies and practices. Key control policies ensure that procedures are followed by every employee. Electronic key control has programmed communication within the software so employees can easily adhere to the policies and procedures.

When employees use the system to remove keys, they have access to the keys which they are authorised to use during their shifts on a pre-programmed schedule. Only authorised individuals can access the keys which must be returned at the end of their shifts so they cannot be used improperly outside their work shifts.

Alarms and email prompts communicate to security managers when keys are not returned on time or are being returned by the wrong user. Alarms can also communicate whether an invalid user code was used, or when there is a power failure so that security managers can take appropriate action.

Key management software enables set-up and scheduling of required audit reports to be delivered automatically to security administrators. The reports communicate every recorded key transaction. When these security audits are conducted, hotel and gaming security administrators can continually improve key control policies and procedures, assuring that employees adhere to them to minimise security risks.

Key control as a connectivity tool

According to the Security Industry Association’s 2022 Megatrends Report, “interoperability is trending this year and tremendous opportunity exists to simply connect disparate security systems, yet surprisingly few are commonly integrated.”

Electronic key control can be integrated with access control systems and related functions can be merged seamlessly. The merged functions will show the movement of staff with keys within the building and the established access-controlled restricted and authorised personnel only areas.

The interoperable systems can deny egress to users who remove specific keys to certain areas of the facility (for instance gaming personnel crossing into the hotel threshold when they are not supposed to) until the keys are returned. The key control and access control integration parameters are applicable to users, keys, groups of keys and more.

Connectivity between key control and access control technology within a hotel and gaming facility collects critical data and information that pay dividends in return on investment, safety and security and compliance with government regulations.

Key control as a creativity tool

Electronic key control has been used by security personnel in hotel and gaming properties for decades. Key control informs security administrators about where all facility keys are located, who has them out and when they are due for return.

Creative solutions with a key control system abound for a hotel and gaming property. For more sensitive areas of the hotel and gaming resort, such as computer server rooms, counting rooms and drop boxes, regulations often require dual or triple authentication. A key control system is programmable for this requirement. Certain keys or key sets will not be released until the two or three successful logins are completed with credentials verified.

Key control systems also have optional card or locker modules, allowing security administrators to creatively customise their ideal key control system. When needs change, the system is expandable and can be reconfigured. Locker modules are ideal for assets such as cell phones, wallets, jewellery, cash, security radios and even small firearms and weapons. Key modules secure master, emergency and floor keys for guestrooms and housekeeping staff. Key control also secures storage, maintenance, luggage, equipment and security rooms and shipping and receiving and loading dock areas.

Electronic key control systems provide communication, connectivity and creativity that’s essential in any hotel and gaming operation’s security plan. Key control systems are a go-to security solution that provide optimal accountability, safety, security and compliance for hotel and gaming resorts around the world.

For more information, visit: www.morsewatchmans.com

This article was originally published in the March 2022 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here.

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