Technology Behind Casinos
Casinos are big business with millions of dollars exchanging hands on a daily basis. The industry has evolved over the decades as technology has advanced. Casinos around the world are almost unrecognisable from the structures that were built years before. Here is how technology now plays a crucial role in the management of casinos across the globe.
Electronic Gaming Machines
It is hard to believe that gambling machines started with the humble beginnings of the Liberty Bell that invented in 1895 by a car mechanic called Charles Fey. It had three spinning reels with symbols including diamonds, spades, hearts, and the Liberty Bell. Players just had to match symbols to win. Compare that innovative invention to the complex electronic slots that are present on the casino floor today and the mind boggles. Slots nowadays are an experience. All of the body's senses are touched by the machines these days with players seeing some stunning graphics, hearing some clear sounds, and even feeling the atmospheric vibrations reverberating off the machines. Technology has evolved slot machines to a level that nobody could have seen coming.
Licence Plate Scanners
Security is a top priority for casinos so technology has been used to maximise security across the industry. One aspect that has seen technology used for security purposes is the scanning of licence plates of cars that visit the casino. Licence plate recognition allows casino security staff to keep tabs on who arrives and departs the casino. Even if the individual using the car does not own it there is at least a lead that security can follow up on if the individual proves to be troublesome. This can prove particularly effective for preventing gambling addicts and blacklisted players from entering the casino.
Eye In The Sky
Sometimes referred to as “The Eye In The Sky”, this is a surveillance operations room that is located above the casino floor and enables the casino to keep a check on every little detail on the floor. It relies on cameras located in the roof around the casino floor to display footage of the goings on across the floor. If a player uses a slight of hand or if there is even a hint of a sign of trouble, then security can deal with it. It put an end to the “Wild West” environment of casinos in decades gone by.
Biometrics Face Recognition
This might seem like something out of a science fiction move but casinos have been known to use this form of technology to vet players they suspect might be a bit untoward. Cameras focused on the entrance instantly scan your face and any players that are considered a potential problem for the casino can be identified immediately. It can also be used to identify individuals retrospectively if a player is linked to any crime or unsociable behaviour within the casino.
This is one of the more complex forms of security technology. It helps to prevent cheating at the baccarat table. Card-switching proved to be a persistent problem in Asian casinos so the casinos fought back with Angel Eye. A sensor in the dealing shoe keeps track of the cards that dealt using bar code technology. The information is sent to a computer and if the cards on the table when the winning hands are revealed are not identical to those recorded on the computer then the card cheat is identified.
Live Dealer Casinos
Online casino gambling has really enjoyed a boom period over the past decade. It all started in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker after qualifying through an online satellite event. This craze that was initially focused on online poker filtered through to online casinos. It is a market that is expected to grow to $74 billion by 2018. In an effort to keep the online industry moving forward, online casinos began to offer a live dealer product using camera technology. Players can use the camera and mic on their computer at home to interact with a live casino table and dealer as well as fellow players. The popularity of live dealer products across the Canadian and American online gambling platform has led to the product moving onto mobile devices.
Players now have the chance to practice play for free on the games like slots, roulette and baccarat before visiting the casino floor and playing for real money.
Now and again, notorious cheaters will combine their talents to work as a team in an attempt to beat the house. It can sometimes be tricky to stop these partnerships from making off with a fortune. Luckily, NORA (Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness) is a database of individuals of interest to casinos that stores data and can identify any potential cheating partnerships that might have developed. This can help casinos identify any potential cheat groups if one or more of these individuals are in the same casino at the same time.