Belvie, Very good question!
In general, there is a real issue when the lighting is a scene varies a great deal.
Recall that a camera can only have a singular shutted speed / exposure for the entire FoV/scene. For example, let's say the camera selects a 1/200s shutter speed. That will work well for capturing the bright areas and not having them be washed out. However, the tradeoff is that dark areas may be underexposed.
When you have significant variations of light, the best solution is true multi-exposure WDR.
Related, this is a fundamental weakness of panoramic cameras as the FoV area is so wide the probability that the camera has to capture very bright and dark areas simultaneously is quite high.
So if you can constrain a camera to only a similar range of light levels, great. But that may not be logistically feasible as you might have bright areas right next to dark ones.
The best bet is to go for true multi-exposure WDR cameras.
Wake up Carl.....it's your turn at the wheel. :)
We typically don't use WDR functions. I've found they typically cause contrast to go down which yields a "washed out" picture. Our casino is generally well-lit though a bit on the dark side. As far as the flashing lights on slots, etc., we try to avoid them as much as possible by zooming in or cutting off the lights. If we have to cover areas with flashing lights, etc., we typically use iris settings to compensate.
One huge tip: try to avoid using AGC at all, or if the camera has variable AGC, set it at less than 10-12db. We also prefer manual iris lenses to auto-iris. If pressed with auto-iris, we often set the iris in the menu to manual. We usually start with the iris wide open (for depth of field reasons when focusing) and close it enough to give the best picture. We also use faster shutter speeds on occasion.
Again, AGC is the worst offender when dealing with casino cameras and lighting, whether it be slot machine banks, WAP slot machine faces or gaming tables. The only time we actually use AGC is for area overviews in particularly dark areas.