8 Essential Communications Components for Casinos
8 Essential Communications Components for Casinos
A checklist of important features to look for in a mass communications system.
Many variables can make effective communication with casino guests and employees difficult. Consistently high levels of ambient noise, expansive square footage comprising a variety of acoustical environments, and plentiful audible and visual distractions can test the effectiveness of mass communication systems. Factor in the need for audio to serve many different purposes–as a way to relay emergency alerts and notifications, dispatch routine announcements, and evoke ambiance through background music–and it’s easy to see just how important a technologically advanced and multi-functional mass communications system is to a casino’s livelihood. It’s the backbone of the entire operation, ensuring adherence to life safety protocols, the enjoyment and retainment of guests, and the efficiency and productivity of employees.
At the heart of a mass communications system are a processor and programmable software. Working hand in glove, these two components are responsible for delivering the right audio to the right places at the right time. Instructions are configured via the software and the processor follows through, directing the flow of audio and video traffic to and from specified endpoints over an IP network. To satisfy the numerous communications needs of a casino, the software and processor must be flexible, scalable, and intelligent enough to be customized for variable conditions, environments, and audiences. Here are eight key customization capabilities to look for in a mass communications system to provide safety, security, and satisfaction to employees and guests throughout the facility:
Proactive notifications from a mass communications system enable casino staff and management to identify potential threats before they become emergencies. For example, should artificial intelligence software used with video surveillance cameras identify suspicious behavior, the mass communications system can trigger an alert to security personnel who are patrolling the casino floor or manning the control room. The message can be dispatched via mobile device or a display in the control room so that guests aren’t needlessly alarmed. This seamless integration with AI, video surveillance, and other physical security technologies such as access control systems or biometric readers, gives casino staff a helpful “heads up,” to de-escalate issues and respond quickly and appropriately to situations. Ultimately, a casino’s labor force is better prepared, no matter what the situation, preserving their own safety and the safety and enjoyment of casino guests.
A combination of audible and visual notifications delivered to a variety of IP endpoints ensures effective communications throughout the diverse acoustical environments of a casino. In loud gaming areas, displays with scrolling text and speakers with LED flashers might be the best way to grab the attention of guests. In restaurants and retail spaces, audible messages via speakers do the job well. In convention halls and music venues, it may be best to share information through both speakers and visual displays such as digital signage. Also important to consider is a communications system’s ability to send messages to people outside the building or even off premise entirely.
Zoning enables messages to play only when and where they are needed. For example, the system could be configured to treat dining and retail areas, gaming areas, outdoor areas, and the hotel lobby as individual zones. This way, pre-recorded announcements that pertain to happy hour specials play only in certain zones, without any interruption of background music playing elsewhere. Live and routine announcements like reminders to employees of staff meetings, meanwhile, can play only via speakers in the employee lounge. Should an emergency arise, all zones are active so that everyone—no matter where they are on the premises—can hear and see critical evacuation instructions.
Ambient noise sensing technology enables a communications system to adjust the volume of outgoing messages based on the current noise level of the environment. For a casino, where noise levels can fluctuate widely throughout the day and evening, this capability removes the responsibility from employees and ensures that adjustments are timely and accurate, of utmost importance during emergencies. Once the ambient noise sensors have been installed, configured, and integrated with the system processor, the system raises and lowers the volume automatically and appropriately.
Easy modifications of messages allow a communications system to evolve with the needs of the casino. This could be a simple zoning or schedule change to reflect new hours of a restaurant or outdoor cocktail lounge or the addition of pre-recorded messages to inform guests of new regulatory policies. Whatever information needs to be disseminated, a flexible, user-friendly communications system helps casino managers keep the system and the facility current.
Seamless integration with fire alarm systems adds even more value to a mass communications system. During an emergency, the fire alarm syncs with the communications system, overriding routine messages and utilizing its speakers and audio endpoints to broadcast alarms and instructions while visual displays support the message with scrolling text and evacuation directions. The handshake between the two systems happens automatically and transparently, ensuring timely and reliable dispatch of emergency alarms, notifications, and even local authorities.
It helps to be multilingual when imparting important information to thousands of guests from all over the globe. A communication system with this feature built into the software audibly broadcasts and visually displays routine and emergency messages in pre-selected language(s), ensuring the safety and enjoyment of every visitor. The translation happens automatically, and no matter what the chosen language(s), the ability to display information via text caters to guests with hearing impairments.
Contactless technology is a relatively new concept, but one of growing importance as commercial environments seek ways to minimize the spread of germs. A system that enables authorized employees to alter volume levels, adjust schedules, and more via an app on personal mobile devices puts the control of the communications system in the palm of the hand rather than a keypad or dial on a wall that’s touched by many people.
A mass communications system that’s flexible, versatile, scalable, and customizable can serve the needs of a casino now and well into the future. From critical life safety information to new gaming rules and regulations, and more, it can keep the entire casino population safe, entertained, and operations running smoothly from the gaming floor to the hotel lobby, the back-room offices and monitoring stations, to the outdoor dining area, and beyond.
AtlasIED has been a recognized leader in the pro-audio industry for over 85 years, developing innovative audio solutions for a wide variety of commercial environments. The company’s diverse, comprehensive, and ever-evolving solutions cater to the high-quality audio and communication technology needs of markets globally, including transportation, healthcare, corporate, industrial, government, hospitality, education, and house of worship. Technologically advanced, expertly engineered, and highly marketable, AtlasIED’s products and systems deliver mass communication, high intelligibility announcements, IP-based visual and audio communications, distributed audio, background music, paging, and sound masking solutions to commercial projects of every size and scope, including those which are mission-critical. Family-owned, the company’s nine locations and a well-established network of experienced manufacturer representatives and distributors throughout the world ensure exceptional customer support and service to drive continued growth and advancement of the commercial audio industry.