Every business uses some form of technology to a degree. Whether it is an electronic cash register, CCTV or keycard entry systems. Technology is constantly evolving and being used to improve our everyday lives.
Casinos, both traditional and online, use modern technology in many ways. Some of it is to improve security and some is to make the casino experience more enjoyable for the player. It can be used to track players habits and then used to provide a personalised service. These are just some of the ways technology is used in the casino industry.
Mobile casino apps
Some casino resorts have their own mobile apps. You download this to your smartphone and when you arrive at the hotel you can check in quickly and efficiently. The technology used is called NFC or Near Field Communication . This can be used for all manner of things to make the hotel experience better for the guest. You can use your smartphone with the app to unlock your hotel room, get food from room service, turn down the lights and adjust the temperature.
All of this is not just for your benefit though. The casino records your actions and playing history and can then send you offers that are more relevant to your needs. They can use the data stored to offer you a personalised service to help customer retention. For example if you had stayed before in one of the casino’s sister resorts they would have this recorded and they could then offer you discounts or upgrades or perhaps a comp knowing that you are likely to keep returning.
This is a form of communication called Radio Frequency Identification. Radio waves are transmitted from the device and picked up by a reader and then interpreted.
RFID is used for several purposes in casinos including in slots and chips. In slot machines the device can send information out to let the casino know that the slot is either full and needs emptying or alternatively needs filling up again.
In casino chips the tag is inside the actual chip and this can be tracked to prevent it being redeemed for cash in the event of theft. It can also stop fake chips being switched for real ones although casinos also use hard to copy markings and detail on their chips.
Facial recognition and licence plate readers
Casinos ban many players for many reasons. The most common possibly being card counting. Although counting cards is not strictly illegal it is certainly frowned up and especially if it involves using devices to help cheat the house.
Facial recognition is one way that casinos can block entry from an unwanted player. When a player is removed from a casino his photo may be taken and added to a database. If that player tries to enter the casino again or even another casino that links to the database then they may be spotted. The cameras in the casino will take images and then the facial recognition software will scan the features and match against the database at which point security will be alerted and the unwanted guest asked to leave. How successful this technology is can be debatable. The cameras are mounted on the ceiling of the casino and may only be partially successful in finding unwanted visitors.
Similarly the cameras in the parking lot can read the licence plates of every vehicle entering. If a vehicle known to be linked to someone already barred enters the parking lot then security can stop them before they even reach the casino doors. Unfortunately a change of vehicle will render this useless until the player is caught again and the new vehicle licence entered on the database.
There is now technology to allow cards to be read in real time. In some countries and regions there is a big problem with card switching and the new technology called Angel Eye can help stop this.
Each card is marked with an invisible barcode. This code is read by the shoe and the information about the card (value and suit) sent to a computer and recorded. After a game is played the dealer can press a button to reveal what cards should be on the table. If there are any discrepancies with the cards laid out and what the computer has recorded then security will be called.
SEO and social media
Advertising is a huge part of bringing in players to traditional and online casinos. Online casinos especially have to stay at the top of Google searches and be easily found by potential new players. Speciality Search Engine Optimisation agencies will work to make sure the online casino is top of all relevant searches.
Social media will be used to spread the word about different games and online casinos. If you play any mobile games at all on your smartphone there is a good chance you will have seen adverts for other apps and games like book of dead and other slot machine games.
Traditional casinos generally accept cash but online casinos can take many more methods of payment. They are constantly using the latest technology to allow players to pay in more convenient ways. E-wallets are standard on most sites and cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular. In Cyprus there is a bitcoin only casino and surely in the future other land based casinos will follow once legislation is changed.
Live dealer casinos
Webcams are used to allow online players to feel that they are experiencing a real casino experience. Live casinos use real life dealers to run the game and you can follow the cards being dealt or the rulett wheel being spun.
The future of casinos
Casinos will undoubtedly continue to use any new technology that aids them in improving cyber security or giving the player the best experience possible. No doubt VR or virtual reality will come into play more and it will be interesting to see what future developments there will be.