A casino’s main goal is to get as much of your money as possible. All the fancy rooms, restaurants and décor are just window dressing to get you to play at their tables. While they have been using technology to enhance security for years, casinos are starting to turn to artificial intelligence in an attempt to increase their bottom line.
A few casinos in Asia’s gaming capital of Macau have recently begun using AI to better understand the gamblers that enter their doors. Things like cameras equipped with facial recognition, smart chips, and digitally enabled tables can help track every bet a customer makes.
Algorithms Help Detect Big Spenders
This new technology uses algorithms that help analyze the betting habits of customers. Do they play conservative or like to take big risks? Are they the type of the gambler who loses a hundred dollars at blackjack then hits the buffet or one who will play all day and drop tens of thousands? This type of information can help a casino decide who to offer big-time perks and give special attention to.
“Those who can afford to lose, those who play even more when losing money, we can for sure offer them a free meal,” said Andrew Lo, an executive at the Suncity Group.
Facial Recognition Cameras Track a Gambler’s Every Move
Whether to spot cheaters or keep troublemakers out, casinos have been using security cameras for years. But by equipping them with facial recognition tech they can serve a purpose beyond security. They can let officials know as soon as a high roller enters and track their every move.
This allows the casino to make sure high-rollers are comfortable at all times and create a perfect environment for them to spend money. If any issues or inconveniences arise, an employee can be dispatched immediately.
RFID Smart Chips Can Monitor Every Bet
RFID smart chips have also become commonplace in casinos due to their security features. A “smart” chip looks just like a regular one, except it contains an RFID tag embedded inside it that is encoded with its monetary value and other data. It also has a radio device that broadcasts serial numbers.
Special equipment is installed into the casino’s computer systems that identify the legitimate chips and detect the fake ones. These chips can also be disabled if they are taken outside of the casino. RFID chips help stop the introduction of fake chips into the gaming environment. They also help cut down on dealer error and player fraud.
Artificial Intelligence Can Create a Player Ranking System
Like the cameras, the smart chips can go beyond security and help track a high roller’s every bet. They can send information in real time to a centralized database, which helps casinos analyze betting behavior and monitor every customer.
The AI can help casinos develop a ranking system based on things like how long a player has spent in the casino, normal bet per hand, win/loss ratio, how much money they are comfortable risking and even a players net worth. Beyond monitoring players, RFID technology can also track how much each table is making or losing, and allow casinos to optimize total profits.
Using AI to Increase Profits at the Baccarat Table
For example at a baccarat table, artificial intelligence can track how often players take “side bets” which are bets that are often high risk but also offer a high return. At the end of the day, these risky bets often result in high profits for the casino.
Walker Digital’s Perfect Pay is one of the technologies being used at baccarat tables in some Asian casinos. It uses RFID technology with hidden sensors and computers that track wagers, hand outcomes, payouts and player ratings in real time.
The tech also helps to speed up gameplay while eliminating losses from dealer mistakes and player fraud. It can reduce labor requirements by eliminating manual data recording.
Real-time alerts can be sent to casino operations and surveillance personnel. The technology is completely hidden from players so it won’t cause reluctance about gambling at those tables.
Casinos Using AI Will Raise Privacy Concerns
We can’t expect this technology to be limited to a few casinos in Macau for very long. If it proves profitable, most major casinos around the world will probably turn to artificial intelligence to increase profits in the highly competitive gaming industry.
Of course, artificial intelligence in casinos is bound to raise privacy concerns. Do customers really want their betting and movement being tracked when gambling? There is a fear that this information could also leave the casino and be utilized by other agencies.
“I think customers expect that their bets are being watched, it’s just whether the casino operator knows how to make use of the data,” said Lo.