Smart casino technology: what can we expect in 2020?
Technology is making things we once thought impossible very much possible. In 1990, not many players thought they could play casino games other than in a land-based casino, but with the advent of the internet at the start of the new millennium, that all became a reality. In addition to this and before the start of new digital age era, many haven't thought about the notion to play casino games on mobile. Fast forward a few years later and we see several innovations in this regard.
All this goes on to show that anything is possible in the near future. With that said, let's have a look at some projections of the most immersive, innovative and sophisticated features in the casino gaming industry by 2020.
Table Eye 21
Despite all the advances in technology, casino security still remains undeveloped as there are some players who continue with their unscrupulous tendencies of counting cards and the like. However, by 2020, that will surely be a thing of the past thanks to the Table Eye 21 system. Table Eye 21 refers to a software that tracks players playing table games. It tracks their bets, the number of hands played in the game and the aggregate or percentage of money being won at a table.
To capture all this information, the Table Eye 21 software makes use of overhead cameras that track everything happening at the table and convert the data into statistical information which the casino can use to detect suspicious players and cheaters. Casino operators will therefore be able to monitor cheaters and suspicious players to see if they are indeed cheating other players or dealers.
This is quite a revolutionary software system that aims to make the casino a safer and fairer environment to all players. However, the only downside of the software is that it is still in a trial phase at land-based casinos, so players who play live table games at online casinos are free from the menacing Table Eye 21.
According to studies, smartwatches are set to overtake smartphones in uptake in the coming years. This means that casinos will have to look at developing smartwatch compatible games to keep up with trends. Pebble’s wearable devices, Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear are all changing the mobile tech industry. With their small screen resolutions, smartwatches make use of the pull and swipe feature to make games much more entertaining and captivating for the users. The smartwatch revolution is still in its infancy, but by 2020, it’s predicted that a large percentage of mobile players will be using smartwatches to play casino games.
Mobile gaming has been in existence for quite some time now. However, despite all the innovation and convenience it has provided to players, more is expected from the mobile gaming scene in the near future. There are currently two challenges in the gaming industry right now that mobile gaming can address. The first issue relates to the fact that the modern player is spending less, but playing frequently. The second issue is that players prefer social games i.e. games where they can interact with other players in real-time.
On the first issue, mobile gaming needs to ensure that developers roll out games which require low-value bets than. On the second issue, it’s crucial that gaming companies develop games that help players to engage with other players during gameplay. This should not be limited to social sharing only and it should not be limited to particular games, but it should encompass all the games offered by casinos including slots.
Another issue that the mobile gaming industry needs to take into consideration in the near future is online security. While online security has certainly gotten better over the past years, there is still a room for casinos to come develop more advanced secure digital encryption software and anti-fraud detection programs that will make users feel safer when playing their favourite games on the go.
Biometric Facial Recognition
The internet is getting smaller and smaller for cheaters and it’s likely that by 2020, fraudulent activity at land-based casinos will come to a halt. This is largely due to the power and influence of Biometric Facial Recognition that is phasing out CCTV cameras and introducing a new way of doing security checks and clearances. Biometric Facial Recognition software detects and recognises the face of everyone who walks into a casino. It can then use this information to check if the person has been inside the casino before and if they have some negatives or positives. By doing so, the casino can gauge whether the patron is a cheater or a high roller. Casino operators will also be able to use this information in dealing with players. In other words, casinos have the capability to closely watch players with a history of cheating and give preferential treatment to high rollers and VIPs.
Biometric Facial Recognition software can be used in conjunction with the Non-Obvious Relationship Analysis (NORA). Working in conjunction with NORA, Biometric Facial Recognition will compare a person’s face against a wide player database, at times including a database of other casino floors to detect any unusual behaviour. This ensures the casino can see if the person under surveillance is not communicating or has connections with other casino guests and casino workers.
Not only does this prevent cheating, but it also helps to combat problem gambling as addicted gamblers can be detected and prohibited from playing at or even entering the casino. At least it can be used for some good and not always bad.
Once fraudsters manage to cash in and trade chips at the cashier's booth, they will have won as the cashier is the last line of defence for casinos. To prop up the last line of defence i.e. to improve security at the booth, casinos are now using RFID chips. RFID chips have undetectable trackers that are only detected by casino software. The trackers are unique serial identifiers over radio frequencies that only work with a certain software.
Before cashiers trade in the chips, they will run the RFID chips to check if they are indeed from that particular casino and if the person who is trading them is indeed the one who bought or won them. The check will also determine if the chips being traded are not credit chips that are borrowed to players. The casino can also turn off the transmitters of the RFID chips to render them useless in case of theft or any other unforeseen circumstance.
RFID chips are still in their infancy stage, but considering the huge benefits that they bring to casinos, it’s only a matter of time before all casinos start issuing RFID chips. While protecting the casino from fraudsters, it means that ordinary players need not take their chips home after a win (overnight or for a long-time) even if there is a large queue at the chip-cashing booth. This is because the casino may just turn off the transmitters of your chips if not cashed in on time, which in turn renders them as useless.
With all the developments that are likely to take place in the near future in the casino gaming industry, we are certain to have a safer, more convenient and innovative atmosphere in 2020.