The next time you enter a casino and you get the feeling that you have entered one of the cavernous wings of Ft. Knox, you might be close to being right. And while casinos probably don’t have the wealth contained in Ft. Knox, you can bet that they protect their valuables just as zealously. Interestingly, the manpower that Ft. Knox is protected with is more than made up for by the technology that is used to protect casinos around the world. This article will serve as a brief introduction to some of the important gizmos that casinos use.
1. Eyes in the Sky
It won’t take you long before your eyes are drawn to the smoke-colored orbs mounted to the ceilings inside a casino. They’re located practically everywhere you look. Those are all part of what are called the “Eyes in the Sky,” a huge number of cameras that are positioned almost everywhere allowing the floor observers in a surveillance room to monitor every square inch of the casino floor.
Fortunately, this gadget is used for other important purposes as well. A casino full of alcohol soaked patrons with pockets and purses full of cash is a tempting place for pickpockets and other forms of thieves. The “Eyes in the Sky” allows casinos to watch for these unwelcomed “guests,” and catch them red handed for their nefarious activities.
2. Players Club Cards
Many casino patrons join a casino’s “Player’s Club” in their effort to get rewards as well as notifications of special deals and offers. The primary reason for these cards are anything but rewards. Instead,
- They allow casino operators to monitor a player’s activity inside the casino
- Every time a player hands his card to an employee and it is swiped, the authorities will know every single place that he or she has been to.
- By swiping the card, the casino authorities will also be able to track all transactions made in a given period of time.
3. Angel Eyes
Many people consider the table games such as blackjack and poker to be some of the easiest to deceive since there is no way that casinos can track a card inserted into the deck. Thanks to a little tool called “Angel Eyes”, that’s no longer a possibility.
- Angel Eyes allows a dealer to monitor a deck being played for cards that are outside the deck. It reads magnetic strips on the cards to ensure that all the cards in the deck belong there and have not be inserted by a player.
4. Recognition Software
One important disadvantage of having a lot of money at play in any given situation is that there are always people who like to lighten that load for you. Casinos are perfect examples of such a situation.
- Those identified by the casinos as undesirable elements i.e. thieves, cheats, counters, and others, are identified and their identities are kept in a database.
- As soon as a person enters a casino, this facial recognition software scans his or her characteristics and it then looks for a match within the casino’s database.
- When there’s a match, security is notified and they find themselves outside the door.
5. Strange Bedfellows
One of the most difficult con opportunities for casinos to catch is when a game operator and a patron are working together to cheat the casino. Unfortunately, situations like this are all too common, but casinos have a defense here as well. It’s called NORA, an acronym for Non Obvious Relationship Awareness software.
- This software can determine if a given player and a game operator have ever had any association in the past. Examples of this are sharing of a common address, employment, place of education, phone number or any other data.
6. Too Much of a Good Thing
There has been some technology introduced over the years that has been considered too intrusive to players. For example, there was a product created by a Canadian company called “TableEye21”. This device could read the counts of the cards in a blackjack shoe and then tell the dealer whether the remaining cards in the deck were “hot” (rich in high cards, making it favor the player) or “cold” (rich in low cards, a disadvantage to players).
Using this technology, dealers knew when the game favored the players, giving him or her a reason to reshuffle the deck. The players outcry in response to this advantage was so loud that the product–at least as far as anyone knows–is no longer available.
7. Pushing Pottery
Craze for casinos across the world is ever increasing and those well versed with this industry are well aware of minutest of loops. They have therefore put a lot of effort in making visitors experience a fabulous one and at the same time, taken great care to ensure their casino’s protection.
Even something as innocuous as a gaming chip can be watching you. Such is the case of chips that are fitted with RFID chips that can be read by the table, with the data being sent to the surveillance room for analysis.