SA security industry hits Las Vegas jackpot.

Dec '99 Asset Management, EAS, RFID

South Africa’s security industry provides a world-class and in several cases, superior service to local casino operations, when compared to its American counterparts. And JSE-listed Gray Security Services is a confirmed leader in this field through its staff recruitment and training programmes, for both physical and gaming duties.

This is the view of Gray Security Services National Marketing Manager Louis Changuion who attended the American Society for Industry Security’s (ASIS) annual international convention, held at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, Nevada, from 27–30 September.

“The convention afforded Gray Security Services an opportunity to maximise networking and business opportunities, while also showcasing the world’s newest physical and surveillance techniques and technology. In addition seminars on global security services were hosted,” said Changuion.

“I found the convention an ideal platform for our expansion policy as it provided Gray with an opportunity to network and meet many of Las Vegas’ casino operators,” he said. “This allowed us the opportunity to view and appreciate the way casino security is managed in America in terms of physical and surveillance casino security systems in comparison to techniques used in the South African market.”

Blending human resources and technology

With the convention focus weighted – 80–85% – towards state-of-the-art global security technology, with only 15% dedicated to security companies and security educational institutions, Changuion felt global security trends were aiming at blending human resources and technology.

“I definitely see this becoming a global trend, with in-house and outsourced security operations alike, as the worldwide security industry looks towards providing total solutions packages. “It was a real eye-opener to see the differing physical and surveillance casino security methods and techniques employed by several of the world’s largest casino operations.

“While Americans – and in particular Las Vegas – have a mindset towards using in-house security – several casino representatives I met expressed an interest in outsourcing their security needs. This bodes well for Gray, with our American operation already well established in Miami.”

With casinos sprouting up all over South Africa, coupled with stringent legislation, there is a need for the best in security. Changuion said surveillance technology and installations in South Africa appeared more advanced than that employed in Las Vegas.

“The new legislation is specific about what coverage, in terms of technology, casino operators require. In that respect, interfaced technology is being used far more frequently in South Africa than in Las Vegas.”

The advantage of using an interfaced system is that it permits data and audio-visual to be transmitted to one control centre.

In terms of actual physical casino security implemented throughout Las Vegas hotel and casino complexes, technology played a major role. The need to capture data usually for later use when required as evidence in a range of situations, is crucial.

The equipment used in America was similar to that available in South Africa.

An example of the advanced technology used in Las Vegas, was illustrated by the use in a casino control room of video projectors throwing images on to wall-mounted screens. That application would gradually, to a certain extent, phase out the need for television monitors.

In terms of the differing South African and American security and recruitment selection criteria methods employed, Changuion felt the American security industry could offer its South African counterparts training material and methods to enhance what is currently available. It would also ensure that South Africa kept abreast of international information and techniques.

“While casinos in Vegas are more focused on physical rather than gaming security, the South African market provides a holistic approach which will boost the industry towards the end of this year and into the new millennium, particularly with the various permanent casinos opening countrywide,” Changuion said.

For details contact Louis Changuion, National Marketing Manager of Gray Security Services on tel: (011) 616 1218.

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