G2E Asia

Smart tables revolutionize casino operations: experts

The casino industry is undergoing a technological transformation, with smart table technology reshaping the traditional table game experience.

All six major concessionaires in Macau are either already using smart tables or are installing them, signaling a significant shift in the way casinos operate.

By seamlessly integrating radio frequency identification (RFID) and artificial intelligence (AI), these smart tables automate manual movements and processes, revolutionizing game integrity, player ratings and operational efficiency.

“This whole smart gaming technology is all about bringing advanced technology into the traditional table game,” said Aaron Raj, Chief Technology Officer and Global Smart Table Integration Specialist for Angel Group, a company dedicated to manufacturing and supplying gaming equipment.

Presenting at a panel discussion conducted at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia’s forum yesterday, he said that through automation, “there’s a lot of data that is generated. And that data becomes invaluable as such for casinos to enhance player experience, game production, and all the other things that are possible, like increased operational efficiency.”

Smart table technology, which integrates cutting-edge technology and traditional table games, is transforming the casino industry with two major providers, Angel and Walker Digital, leading the charge.

While Angel focuses on data collection, game security, player ratings, and analytics without altering the existing process, Walker Digital employs an innovative “slotification” approach, fully automating table game operations through extensive time and motion studies.

As Stephen Moore, founder and CEO of Walker Digital, notes, “We really are in the slotification of table games. The fact is that it’s actually better than slot machines because you don’t have individual bets for every spin inside a slot machine.”

The implementation of smart tables brings numerous benefits, including improved game integrity and accuracy, seamless player engagement, and valuable insights for operational improvements.

Gaming operator MGM was the first to adopt smart table technology, driven by the goal of increasing its operational efficiencies and gaining a competitive edge.

“You can increase your threshold limits before you have to wait for a supervisor to get approval. Players really, in Macau, want a playback run, and they want results. They don’t want to be waiting around, “ said Graeme Croft, former VP of Tables for MGM.

Across the globe, The Star Entertainment Group, which operates three casinos in Australia, has also recognized the strategic importance of smart tables, particularly in the highly regulated market with a focus on local premium customers.

The ability to report on player activity, manage fraud, combat money laundering, and gain insights into customer preferences were crucial drivers for their adoption of smart tables.

Rick McDonald, who runs the table games at The Star in Australia, emphasized the importance of smart tables in their highly regulated market, noting, “Being able to report on player activity – you know, fraud management, money laundering, and understanding our customers – is crucial.”

One of the key aspects revolutionized by smart tables is chip attribution and tracking.

By linking each casino chip to a customer through a unique ID, smart tables offer a potential solution to the traditional challenges of tracking chips back to customers, particularly in Macau due to chip sharing and player movement.

As Graeme Croft explained: “All these chips have got a unique ID. And so, when we enroll our chips through our cage, we can attribute those chips to that customer.”

“It does have some other advantages as well. You know, sometimes a chip may be lost, found on the floor, and it can be determined to belong to a certain customer, purely because that player brought in those chips using his card,” he said.

This enhanced chip tracking not only improves security measures but also enables the detection of player-initiated rating fraud, collusion between players and dealers, and other suspicious activities.

As smart tables continue to gain traction, casinos worldwide are embracing this innovative technology to stay ahead in the highly competitive gambling landscape.

The integration of RFID and AI technologies into traditional table games has not only transformed the gaming experience but also paved the way for new applications and functionalities, driving the casino industry’s technological revolution. Staff Reporter

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