HARMAN delivers at MGM National Harbor Casino

MGM National Harbor is a recently opened resort in National Harbor, Maryland that includes a 23-story hotel with 308 guest rooms, retail space, a spa, seven restaurants, 27,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a 3,000-seat theatre with seven VIP suites and a casino with 135,000 square feet of gaming space.

When it was time to design a sound system for the facility, the casino proved to be the most challenging area. With separate sections for slot machines and table games such as poker, blackjack, craps and more, each gaming area has a unique atmosphere and different audio requirements. For example, the music near the poker tables needs to be much quieter than the slots area, since the poker players need to concentrate and communicate clearly during games.

In order to meet these challenges, MGM hired audiovisual design and installation specialist Technology West Group to create a networked audio system for the casino that would enable flexible and independent volume control across a wide range of audio zones—while also requiring minimal training and maintenance for staff. Leveraging years of experience with casino audio systems, Technology West Group designed and implemented a complete audio system by HARMAN Professional Solutions consisting of JBL Control 300 Series speakers, Crown DCI Series amplifiers and BSS networked audio systems.

The system TWG designed for MGM National Harbor is made up of JBL Control Contractor Series speakers, with approximately 500 Control 328CT in-ceiling loudspeakers and 70 Control 312CS in-ceiling subwoofers installed in the casino. The system is powered by Crown DriveCore™ Install Series amplifiers, with BSS Networked Audio Systems for signal processing and routing. There are more than 1,500 JBL speakers throughout the entire National Harbor facility.

The casino floor is divided into separate zones, which are controlled by BSS Soundweb London BLU-806 signal processors. The amplifiers and processors are installed in dedicated spaces below the casino floor, with wall-mounted control panels. The idea was to create a DMARK point, or a centralized technology hub, that enables the casino to rearrange the gaming floor without completely renovating the audio system and easily upgrade the system as their needs evolve. The entire audio system is connected via Dante AV networking, and is integrated with the video system using core networking services.

In the past, each MGM property was in charge of designing its own sound system. Around four years ago, Technology Group West met with the MGM multimedia division and came up with a plan to standardize audio systems across all properties. They began looking for a technology provider that could provide cost-effective end- to-end networked audio systems that could be managed with very few staff. After careful consideration, they decided to standardize using HARMAN solutions across the board.