In this day and age, casinos are at the cutting-edge of some of the latest technology available. It is big business and a report last year by the University of Las Vegas said that the 24 casinos in the Vegas strip alone brought in over $72 million. It is also estimated that gaming industry in the United States brings in $40 billion per annum. Security and preventing crime then is vital and the casinos all over the world use a variety of methods to ensure the environments are safe, both at the casinos themselves and those online.
One area that has developed dramatically since first being used in casinos in the mid-1800s is the humble chip. It has gone from being little more than a token, which was easily forged and counterfeited by criminals, to a piece of tech mastery with RFID – Radio Frequency Identification – making theft a near-impossibility. RFID means each chip has a unique serial number, and it also means should it be stolen they can be deactivated as soon as they leave the casino premises.
Smart Facial Recognition
Another example where tech has been, and is exploited by casinos, is with Smart Facial Recognition. This means casinos can quickly identify anyone acting suspiciously, and then notify security. It also means casinos have the ability to monitor VIPs and regulars, and ensure they are treated accordingly. Looking after the customer is, after all, good business.
It doesn’t end there either, with Angel Eye now used by casinos all over the world to stop card switching. It ensures each card has a unique code placed on it with invisible ink. This not only reduces the chance of ‘foreign’ cards being placed in the system, but also helps eliminate dealer mistakes. They are now the industry standard, and more than 5,000 have been sold globally since its introduction.
Casinos also use TableEye 21 to monitor blackjack players through the use of over-heads cameras. This is then converted into a statistical analysis to flag up any unfair practices.
Other notable technologies include NORA – an acronym for Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness – which sees software utilized to search databases and flag up any relationships between say a staff member and a customer that may not be obvious. It has proved so successful it is now also used to try to prevent terrorism, as well as by banks, insurance companies and retailers for business intelligence. Employers and recruiters are also turning to it to vet the suitability of candidates.
In addition, casinos now work together too through SIN – the Surveillance Information Network – sharing information on clientele and any suspected of cheating to keep each other informed and then there is Counter Surveillance Scanners to specifically look for the unauthorized use of technology such as cameras.
The online environment is of course a different challenge, but no less important, with casinos using similar measures – namely at least 128-bit SSL data encryption or, ideally, 256-bit – as used by banks and other big multi-national organisations. Such technology is vital to protect both casinos and its clientele.