World Game Protection Conference Showcases Blackjack Analytics, AI Security Cameras

Posted on: March 9, 2019, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: March 9, 2019, 12:31h.

The World Game Protection Conference wrapped up at the Tropicana Las Vegas on Wednesday, with exhibitors showing casino operators how they could best protect themselves against a variety of threats to their operations.

World Game Protection Conference
The World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas featured technology designed to protect table games and improve security for patrons. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

This year, that meant everything from finding new and innovative ways to strike back against card counters to creating new defenses against potential acts of violence and terrorism.

Blackjack System Improves Comps, Detects Cheaters

On the gaming side, one of the more interesting announcements came from Dallmeier Electronic USA, a Las Vegas company known for its surveillance technology. The firm showed off a new analytics system that is designed to give casinos a wealth of new information on their blackjack games.

According to Dallmeier, the company is already using a similar system to protect more than 1,000 baccarat tables in Macau, and expects to have its blackjack system up and running in at least one Las Vegas casino within the next six months.

“It can recognize cards,” Dallmeier president Joe McDevitt told attendees during a session on analytics and artificial intelligence. “It can recognize suits and what card is being played, and…if you’re using a smart shoe that’s reading the cards coming out, we can use that to improve the performance results of it.”

The system can also recognize casino chips, becoming extremely accurate if RFID chips are being used. Even without that, however, McDevitt says the system is 90 percent or more accurate, making it better than manually having casino staff walk around and see what is being bet. It also allows for tracking whether a particular table is losing money over a long period of time – often a sign that someone may be cheating.

“It can find payoff inaccuracies and alert surveillance,” McDevitt said. “We can automatically comply with anti-money laundering….In marketing, the big deal here is it rates you, so I know what each position is betting and more accurately calculate what comps are and what their loyalty is.”

Presenters Dream of a Chipless Future

Cheating, accurate comps, and money laundering concerns were cited by others as reasons for another innovation they’d like to see: the eventual removal of chips for table games.

There are a number of game protection reasons and there’s comping,” World Game Protection Conference founder Willy Allison said during a seminar in which he advocated for eliminating chips. “I can’t believe in 2019 we give back millions of dollars all over the world to our customers by guessing how many chips they’ve been playing.”

Security System Identifies Weapons on Video

The conference also featured security measures that could be employed away from the tables. On Wednesday, Athena Security showed off technology that is designed to help casinos detect guns and other weapons that patrons may be hiding.

The system, which is designed to hook up to existing cameras with steaming video, uses artificial intelligence that has been trained using thousands of images and simulated scenarios to identify weapons even when they’re not obvious to the naked eye.

The technology can even alert police to a problem with detailed information on the situation, allowing law enforcement to know exactly what they’re dealing with.

“Not only is it going to tell you ‘hey, something is happening,’ but when the police arrive, they’re going to know where the person is, what happened,” Athena Security co-founder Christopher Ciabarra told Fox 5 Las Vegas. “They’re going to know the person’s face, they know how many people are armed. All this information they didn’t have before.”