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Four Winds Resort and Casino needed a communications system that would enable employees to deliver premium service to guests while ensuring casino security. MOTOTRBO exceeded these critical requirements, radically expanding capabilities and opening up a range of new opportunities for enhancing security and service levels.
Everything Is Riding on Security and Service
Paying homage to the heritage of the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Tribe, the Four Winds Resort and Casino is situated near their ancestral homeland on 52 acres of beautiful terrain in New Buffalo, Michigan. This full-service, around-the-clock leisure complex comprises 135,000 square feet of gaming space, 3,000 slot machines, 110 table games, six restaurants, a hotel, and a 10,000 square foot child care center.
Security is imperative in any gaming environment where unscrupulous individuals may scan wireless communications in an effort to “improve their edge” at the tables and throughout the casino. John Walker, VP of Security at Four Winds, explained that this entertainment center required “a system that could provide security personnel with a separate and secure talk-group as well as capabilities to enable all staff to always be in contact with one another.”
High levels of service are also demanded in this sophisticated gaming environment, and an efficient two-way communications system would enable individual teams within the casino to communicate quickly and efficiently with one another, responding to customer needs and delivering the high-quality service that casino patrons expect. Of particular concern was the need for technicians to monitor the operation of thousands of slot machines and respond to technical problems immediately.
Four Winds required a cost-effective solution that would enable the casino to grow in response to increasing nationwide enthusiasm for gaming.
After considering the options, it was clear that the right solution for Four Winds would be MOTOTRBO, Motorola’s professional digital system that is reshaping the way users think about two-way communications.
With this innovative two-way digital solution, the Four Winds security team has their own talk group, as do IT, maintenance, slot supervision, and many other work teams throughout the casino. Four Winds had originally asked for only four talk groups; however, within months of implementation, the value of talk groups became so dramatically clear that there were soon 15 talk groups divided by department, with the promise of more in the very near future. MOTOTRBO software provides 23 talk-group templates, separated by users, making it possible to cut and paste individual groups as needed.
To ensure consistent, fault-free communications among security staff, the MOTOTRBO system at Four Winds has base station battery back-up as well as critical redundancy built into the system:
if the security repeater needs to be reprogrammed, another repeater immediately moves in to handle the load. Because MOTOTRBO utilizes highly efficient TDMA, four repeaters have the capacity to do the work of eight repeaters, ensuring consistently smooth and cost-efficient communication.
MOTOTRBO seamlessly enhances service. Clearer audio quality provided by digital technology means that all casino and resort personnel are able
to connect with one another and communicate more efficiently, ensuring that customer service issues are resolved on-the spot.
In support of higher service levels, digital Walkie Talkies provide improved battery life: casino and resort personnel receive 12 hours of operation with a standard nickel metal hydride battery – that’s about 40% more operating time than with analog radios. Because batteries are used more efficiently, talk-time is extended, so personnel spend more time serving guests and less time returning to base to recharge their units or pick up fresh batteries.
Unobtrusive service is always preferred, and MOTOTRBO supports discreet communications through such functions as text messaging, which enables personnel to communicate silently with one another. Any phone or computer can send an email to a MOTOTRBO host server application,
which then forwards the text message to designated MOTOTRBO subscriber units, supporting tighter, more coordinated communications management.
In addition, as Walker explains, because security personnel have earpieces that attach to microphones “we can walk and discuss all kinds of issues without disturbing our guests, who don’t get blasted by a loud noise when someone with a traditional radio walks past.”
In emergencies, MOTOTRBO’s emergency signaling capability enables users to pull the whole team together, immediately, to respond to the situation and maintain the comfort and safety of casino guests.
In a resort area, aesthetics are always a consideration, and through a multi-coupler and combiner, it was possible to mount just two antennas on the roof of the casino, minimizing visual interference with the natural beauty of this Lake Michigan property.
Staying Ahead for the Long Run
Four Winds Resort and Casino selected MOTOTRBO, in part, because it was flexible enough to grow with their business. Within months of installation, the system was already growing, with additional repeaters and talk groups being added to meet demand by staff for radios that helped improve customer service and increase casino security.
Walker is confident that this is just the beginning: “I’ve talked to each of the vice presidents that have received these radios, and they’re just ecstatic. MOTOTRBO has helped them handle their departments and their staffing, dispatching people to the right locations whenever they’re needed. Now, we’re up to about 335 radios, and several departments would like more. MOTOTRBO has done so much for us, increasing our efficiency and decreasing response time. The whole system has been a boon for us, and now every department is talking about getting a MOTOTRBO.”
MOTOTRBO – The Gaming Industry’s Ace-in-the Hole
Digital technology enables MOTOTRBO to adapt to a number of different work environments,
seamlessly supporting industry-specific applications, and it has proven to be an exceptionally productive communications tool for gaming and hospitality.
In addition to the applications deployed by Four Winds Resort and Casino, the digital platform enables location tracking via built-in GPS so that the location of field units can be displayed on the dispatcher’s computer screen for more efficient operations and tighter asset management. GPS-based Location Services is just one of MOTOTRBO’s continuing series of remarkable applications – made possible through digital technology – that extend the power of MOTOTRBO, enabling it to be customized to work at maximum efficiency in any environment, in any industry.
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