eConnect Shines a Light on Casino Fraud
October 1, 2013 Alex Woodie
A security software company called eConnect is gaining traction in the competitive casino industry with software that combines a casino’s video surveillance system with its computer systems, including those that manage gaming devices, retail point of sale (POS), and back-office financial systems. Because many of the world’s top gaming institutions rely on the IBM i server, eConnect finds itself working there.
eConnect describes its flagship Casino Connect system as a “visual and behavioral intelligence tool” that helps casino operators spot gaps in their security systems, and to detect theft, cheating, and collusion on the casino floor. It does this by providing a single Web browser-based interface that allows end users to monitor the surveillance video, “while simultaneously seeing the data flow from the casino devices to determine if fraud or human error is taking place,” the company says.
Data is fed into the eConnect system from various sources, including slot systems, player tracking, and other gaming systems. The product has tight integration withBally Technologies‘ ACSC, an IBM i-based application that is used to manage slot machines, card games, and other gaming devices. eConnect also hooks into other systems used away from the gaming floor that are also susceptible to fraud, including F&B (food and beverage), retail, and soft count processes.
In September, eConnect announced its latest IBM i customer, the Solaire Casino in the Philippines. According to eConnect, the company selected its fraud and loss detection systems due to its close integration with the Bally ASCS suite. “Bally has been an excellent technology partner during the integration process, which makes it beneficial for Solaire,” Travis Whidden, eConnects CTO, says in a press release.
The Las Vegas software company also has customers in the Indian gaming industry. The company recently announced that Sycuan Casino in San Diego County will install its eConnect system and hook it up to a network of 1,200 cameras to monitor POS transactions to help reduce fraud in its retail activities.
The potential of video surveillance to catch casino cheats was demonstrated last week a few miles north of Sycuan at another Indian gaming institution. According to a U-T San Diego story, Las Vegas-based gambler Archie Karas was allegedly recorded marking cards during hands of poker at the Barona Casino. Karas is said to have won more than $40 million during his career as a poker player. His trip to Barona netted him $8,000, according to the story.
Barona is not listed as a customer on the eConnect website. eConnect says its software is used by some of the biggest casinos in the business, including Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Harrah’s, all of which rely on the IBM i server for its core businesses.