The importance of obtaining a secure facility for storing cash and chips in casinos.
It is not surprising that compliance regulations in the gaming industry are among the most stringent of all businesses. The UK is one of the largest contributors to the international gambling industry, generating a gross gambling yield of £6.2 billion between October 2011 and September 2012 according to the latest available figures.
The Gambling Commission is the regulatory body for commercial gambling in the UK and was set up under the Gambling Act 2005. Its list of responsibilities includes work to ensure that licensees act in accordance with the requirements imposed by the Gambling Act 2005 and other related regulations and standards.
The law dictates that a casino must keep in reserve, not only every chip in play on the floor, but the total amount advertised on all slot machines and all the payments that the casino owes to previous winners. However, the risks associated with holding these large sums in one place are extremely high, both in terms of the possibility of their being stolen and in relation to the safety of those tasked with transporting and storing cash and chips. Levels of risk differ depending on a wide variety of factors such as casino location, size of facilities and quantity of cash on site, and each facility is responsible for assessing the risks and taking appropriate measures to protect their valuables and their staff.
Finding a suitable vault and electronic monitoring system that satisfies all the regulatory requirements is a complex process, as all elements of the unique structural layout and requirements of each casino must be taken into consideration. Due to the bespoke nature of each security solution, success depends greatly on the knowledge, experience and flexibility of the supplier.
High Security Storage
Central secure storage facilities will need to meet a number of different criteria compared to other areas of the casino, as the greatest quantity of cash and valuables will be stored here for safeholding and must be adequately protected when not in use to prevent unauthorised access.
A wide variety of factors, such as the location and size of casino, will dictate the type of storage facilities required, and often a vault is the recommended suggestion. A casino vault must have the capacity to be integrated with the intruder alarm system, the option of a time delay lock, CCTV coverage and limited access with codes being split between staff members.
In order to attain appropriate storage facilities that meet strict law requirements, casinos have a few choices. They can commission their own building from scratch, which is very costly and time consuming, and a suitable site will also need to be found that will meet all of the logistical requirements. Another option is to hire suitable premises, although again it can be time-consuming to find the perfect storage facility to meet very specific needs whilst being situated in the best possible location.
One of the most effective solutions to avoid these issues is to install a Modular Vault. Offering a completely bespoke, on-site-assembled security room to fit an allocated space, Modular Vaults such as the Modulprim from Securikey are increasingly specified for casinos that are being established in new premises or that are expanding quickly, as they not only offer a high security option, they are also relatively quick and easy to install and provide a controlled environment.
Offering a five-sided solution if necessary for maximum security and installation flexibility, the individual components of each modular vault are manufactured off-site to fit the precise specification of the casino, which can be in either a new or existing building. The measurements and precise customer requirements will have been established during a comprehensive survey, before being delivered to site as individual panels and welded securely into place. Customised furnishing capabilities such as cabinets and rack systems allow effective stock management systems to be put in place. Security deposit lockers can also be provided that not only offer additional security with their high quality aluminium construction, but that can be made bespoke to maximise use of space. Expanding the options further to meet any need, a variety of different locks can be selected for the door depending on the level of security required as a result of the initial risk assessment.
To ensure optimum security at higher risk moments, such as the retrieval and putting away of cash and chips, and to prevent opportunists from walking in, custom-sized grill gates can be installed in the wall of the vault so casino employees can pass items through to their colleagues from the inside while the door remains firmly closed. As staff may be spending time inside the Modular Vault to undertake stock management procedures, there is the option of integrating certified airing, ventilation and alarm systems throughout the vault room via customised openings in the walls and door. This also allows the casino owner to ensure the perfect storage environment in terms of temperature and humidity, and provides additional security with the alarms being rigged to meet the gaming facility’s requirements. The best ventilation and alarm systems to meet the brief will be established as part of the consultation process.
When selecting a vault, buyers are advised to ensure it complies with European security standard EN1143-1 which ensures European wide approval. In addition, the vault should be validated by an independent testing house such as the VdS in Germany to prove it meets the stringent criteria to resist attack.
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