Under Tech & Key: Exploring Casino Security
by Alex J. Coyne © Gifts for Card Players
And I have no privacy.
Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
Tell me is it just a dream? Rockwell
Casinos are a valuable investment, not only to the owners of the casino, but also to the patrons of the casino who invest their hard earned money on the casino floor in a chance to win millions in jackpots. This comes with a fair amount of risk. You can imagine just how much money and high-profile clientele cross the threshold of a casino in any given year. That must take some high-level security to take care of, right? Here’s a closer look at the inner-workings of casino security behind the scenes. And yes, if you walk into a casino and sit down at a table, somebody will certainly be watching you.
Scanned Poker Chips on His Shoulder?
You might’ve already heard of RFID sectors if you have at any point worked in the retail sector. RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification, and it’s better known to most people as the small, usually square metallic tags that they pull off their merchandise – it’s this receiver that sets off the scanners at the door if someone happens to walk out with something from the store. This isn’t by any means the only use for RFID chips, but it illustrates their use pretty well – and the same principle is applied when you’re applying them to casino chips. In fact, in December 2010 a bandit who thought he might get lucky decided to lift approximately $1.5 million in chips from the Bellagio. The RFID information on the chips, of course, meant that they were useless to him – and from what we can find, he was eventually caught in a sting operation set up by Las Vegas PD. (Oh, and it’s estimated that these chips only cost the casino about $2.50 to produce – not bad!)
One of the first levels of security that you’ll encounter when you visit a casino is almost certainly its presence of armed security. But wait… You didn’t see anyone around when you came in and sat down, right? Well, we’d admit that it’s kind of the point. Yes, casino’s are filled to every corner with security operatives – though their location and identities aren’t always known and obvious for reasons that you can very well imagine. In addition, you can also expect to see armed security at the doors – and armed security escorts to be used when they are transporting anything valuable, including money and high-profile gamblers. Many security companies specialize in offering customized security solutions to casinos.
You won’t find armed security at the roulette table of an online casino but rest assured online casinos have security measures in place. There are organizations that regulate, test and then license casinos. Because a casino’s random number generator is at the heart of its security and fairness, reliable casinos employ independent companies to test and verify their RNG – verification that should be readily available at the casino’s website. And modern times are introducing blockchain technology which renders currency incorruptable. See Let’s Talk Online Casino Payment Systems for more information.
You might think that your poker face is flawless by now – and you might have put decades of work into making sure that your left eyebrow doesn’t twitch when you’ve got a great hand. But we’ve got some news for you: All of your techniques may just have been rendered useless by technology. See, facial recognition is important for casinos for a few reasons – including but not limited to the fact that there are some patrons that need to be stopped at the door, and sometimes you might even see a “most wanted” or “missing” person walk into a casino – and there’s software set up to spot that. The software has even been customized to tell you who walks into the casino as a high-roller, making sure that they get top treatment. Don’t believe us? Then check out Face First – one of the top casino software providers around. Incredible what technology can really do, don’t you think?
We’ve heard it as a commonly repeated rumour that “all dealers must know how to count cards” – but we’ve also heard it admitted from many casino dealers that, point is, they don’t. In modern times, you can guess that dealers have some special help to make sure nobody cheats – and one form of this is Angel Eye, a censor placed in the shoe that calculates the odds of what’s been dealt in the game. With the push of a button, the dealer can see exactly what they need to – and see if another card has been inserted into the deck when it doesn’t belong.
Casino security doesn’t end there by any means – and the kind of security that’s used by some of the world’s top casinos has proved to be so incredibly secure that it has also been employed by the world’s top security agencies as a result. Next, let’s introduce to you what’s called NORA – or Non Obvious Relationship Awareness. This software looks up relationships between people to find links that people might have missed, and it’s been so successful that it’s even been employed by security systems outside of the casino world. Reports say that it can tell casino security experts everything, even if a dealer and client have ever shared a phone call together before they “meet” at the tables. It’s even had uses in anti-terrorism – and you can surely see why. Here’s more about NORA on Popular Mechanics.
That’s not the end of casino security or casino security software by any means: We’ve got one more for you. Introducing a little something called TableEye21, developed by Prem Gururajan. You won’t find all of that much information about it online, and we’re willing to admit that it’s for good reason – security of course – but we can tell you that the software, specifically designed to watch blackjack, makes use of the eye in the sky to reveal details about the game that might, well, potentially terrify you if you’ve ever seen The Terminator… But at least you know that your money is safe with the casino!