5 technologies that casinos use to operate


Casinos have come a long way in terms of tech. Facilities that used to have a retro vibe à la Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas experienced a complete tech turnaround, updating both their games and other gadgets for the 21st century. In fact, casinos use some of the most high-tech tools around to defraud cheaters and recoup lost revenue.


If you’re interested in the sophisticated software and other devices found in casinos, then read on for their top operations technologies.


Slot Accounting Systems

Of the top five favorite casino games, slot machines share 61 percent for most played. It makes sense that casinos would place a stake in sophisticated slot accounting systems.

What are slot accounting systems, exactly? According to the UNLV Gaming Research and Review Journal, “The slot accounting software works similarly to the player tracking by providing detailed records of the gaming machines on the floor. The software allows casino management to keep track of the meter readings, which include the opening of the slot door, the jackpots and fills, and the coin in and coin out.”

The automated machine readings allow casinos to monitor the machine’s use so they can stay on top of machine failures and potential cheaters.


Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness (NORA) Software

Casinos have used NORA software since the early 2000s; however, the algorithms that power it improved quite a bit since the software’s inception. The software employs database tracking to relate individuals to one another. Multiple companies manufacture this software– NORA isn’t a brand of software; it’s a type.

It’s a technique that ensures there’s rarely a conflict of interest between a dealer and a player that could result in a scam. The technology, popularized mainly by casinos, is now used by the government and even IBM to guard against terrorism and financial fraud.


Facial Recognition Software

Facial recognition (FR) software hit the mainstream in consumer technology when companies such as Apple and Facebook employed FR to help tag and organize photos by face and name. However, casinos have used the tool a lot longer and for reasons other than sharing your image via social media. In fact, privacy is a huge concern for most casino patrons, so the technology is used purposefully and for nothing other than preventing casino fraud.

Peak Gaming Group reports, “At this point, [FR] computer software can quickly and accurately identify a person with only a one-in-a-thousand chance of error, and that’s just from a “glance” at one decent photo.” That means a casino owner could use surveillance footage to closely monitor the faces of gamblers to detect those who have previously conned the machines or dealers.


RFID-Embedded Chips

The chips you push on the casino table could have more weight than you think. That’s because many casino chips now feature RFID embedded inside. RFID stands for Radio-frequency identification. It’s a technology that prevents crooks from swiping chips for future cash and play.

No, the RFID chips don’t work like a GPS, tracking your every move, but the chips are tracked when criminals try to cash in. The device inside the chip acts as documentation of the theft, identifying the ripped off casino and the date of the theft, making it nearly impossible for the thieves to redeem them.


Other Technologies

Of course, casino technology doesn’t revolve completely around catching criminals. Like slot accounting systems, many other software and devices have been developed simply to promote ease of operation. From digital and video slot machines to touch screen table management, casinos leave no area undeveloped.

Companies such as Bally Technologies manufacture complete casino solutions. Signage, analytics, and accounting are all a part of a well-rounded casino tech strategy. It’s no wonder Chinese tech company Wirelessor moved its business to Las Vegas – it has been the secret Silicon Valley of Nevada for some time.

With all this invasive technology, the big casinos seem a lot like Big Brother. How do you feel about smiling for casino cameras? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Casino” image courtesy of Shutterstock.

By Miles Young

Miles Young is a freelance writer interested in travel, tech and emerging industry trends. You can follow him @MrMilesYoung on twitter.

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