Dallmeier’s Konrad Hechtbauer explains how casinos can use smart, AI-infused video-based technologies to take the next step forward in moving from analogue to digital processes.
“A SINGLE PANE OF GLASS” – ANALYTICS, DATA, INTERFACES AND VIDEO
An essential aspect of every efficient casino operation is the integration, presentation and processing of many different data sources and interfaces – from surveillance management to auditing to marketing data and many more.
Casinos can maximize efficiency for a multitude of workflows, creating more and more building blocks for what one may call a “casino operating system.”
Advanced video management systems (VMS) such as Dallmeier´s HEMIPSHERE SeMSy provide surveillance managers with vast control options down to quickly creating a “digital evidence file” of any event , including corresponding video, notes, reports and further information, which can easily be included in respective processes.
Advanced, unified reporting capabilities make the creation of reports a breeze, such as those for casino regulation authorities. Extracting all sorts of data and correlating it with third-party applications gives marketing managers tremendous insight in increasing profitability. Furthermore, they get a much better view on the effectiveness of their marketing spend.
All functions and data within such a “casino operating system” approach are fully integrated into the video and data management world, thus saving time and cost through fewer workstations and considerably less complex work processes, making findings from previously unused data sources usable and helping achieve synergies across different functional areas.
CRUCIAL FOR MODERN CASINOS: INTEGRATION OF TABLE GAME MANAGEMENT
A great example for the “analogue to digital” transition is the area of table games. By their nature, live games are particularly difficult to capture in the digital world due to the complexity of the actions and processes. However, this is exactly what casino operators need in order to create real-time data for their business intelligence tools and to make their operations more efficient.
“Table gaming automation” technologies combining technologies such as RFID, video images or AI-based recognition (such as of chip values) promise a quantum leap in the digitization of table gaming management; solutions are currently available for games like baccarat and blackjack. The primary functions of these technologies are overall tracking and management of table games, real-time player rating, automated table protection and a real-time view on the table inventory.
WHY TRACKING GAMES IS IMPORTANT
Automated and informed table management is an essential component for risk mitigation as well as the basis for informed business intelligence in the casino. With table gaming automation systems based on video technology and AI, a “virtual” table game supervisor and surveillance operator is permanently available and alert at every table to assist human staff.
The system continuously monitors and analyzes games and table performance, provides data on bet position and bet frequency and performs fraud probability tests. Furthermore, such systems facilitate the precise detection and analysis of all the relevant KPIs for table management such as game pace information, yield management with gaming floor table data or occupancy/utilization ratio to name just a few. The result is highly-improved risk mitigation, increased profitability on each table and an entirely new scope of table management from a business analytics point of view.
REAL-TIME PLAYER RATING MAKES LOYALTY PROGRAMS ACCURATE
Player rating is essential for casino marketing initiatives, customer retention and business planning. Today’s casino player rating systems often lack accuracy and the “frequent player” loyalty plans get abused, costing the industry huge amounts in lost revenue. With table gaming automation systems, casinos can rate players accurately and prevent such costly abuses and losses.
Such modules offer in-depth analysis in real-time based on stack value, pay-outs and buy-ins as well as monitoring of chip collection. This data allows the casino operators to attain a thorough understanding of the players’ behavior and activities, helping to determine the value of the players and increasing the accuracy of loyalty programs.
“FOLLOW THE MONEY” WITH EFFECTIVE TABLE PROTECTION
Fraud and theft are also well documented in casinos via advantage play schemes, edge play, false shuffles, ratings and card cut scams. The resulting losses for casinos are astronomically high. Former solutions that rely on dealers as the “first line of defense” are vulnerable and often provide no win/loss information for up to 24 hours or longer. Table gaming automation systems give casino operators the ability to “follow the money” instantly and therefore prevent costly fraud and theft.
“CHECKS AND BALANCES” FOR THE TABLE INVENTORY
It is important for casinos that they monitor the performance and inventory of their tables so they know, for example, when to order a credit or chip fill.
This is achieved, among other things, by tracking the float’s value and balance of a table after every hand or coup. Today, this involves many manual tasks and provides a low level of transparency.
Table gaming automation systems use the float as a “checks and balances” tool to ensure better accuracy and automate numerous manual tasks. The result is high savings in labor costs and significantly higher accuracy.
MITIGATE RISK AND OPTIMIZE REVENUE STREAMS IN REAL TIME
As opposed to previous systems that required manual intervention and detection, the combination of video technology with AI-based data analytics enables the automated discovery of a wide range of activities – from theft of chips to dealer errors, late bets and tampering with closed table floats. Overall, table protection is increased by adding real-time live data to the existing video-based monitoring. This way the system can automatically trigger actions and alert systems or personnel in the event of suspicious data patterns.
CUSTOMER RETENTION BENEFITS FROM SMART MARKETING MEASURES
Eventually, with video-based table gaming automation systems, casino operators can gain access to a previously hidden treasure trove of data.
Casinos now know what games to offer at each time of the day or how to improve their loyalty programs based on the behavior and preferences of their visitors and players.
Way beyond gaming, adjacent departments such as hotel, food or retail can also hugely benefit from this data by massively improving their operational efficiency. Combining the various aspects – protection, automation, business intelligence – reduces labor costs and human fallibility and increases gaming floor transparency.
The result is much more efficient marketing and player management and a massive contribution to a casino’s business intelligence. This allows casino management to make more informed decisions, quickly react to changes and events and tremendously increase the overall efficiency of their gaming table and other operations.
VIDEO SURVEILLANCE “AT THE NEXT LEVEL”
Classical video surveillance still plays a major role in a casino’s investment in video technology. Large areas need to be monitored to protect guests, players, staff and the casino’s inventory. With sophisticated camera technologies, such as the patented multifocal sensor technology “Panomera,” casino surveillance operators can cover much larger areas with the same number of operators. In addition, the automatic transfer from camera to camera and the automatic selection of the camera with the best picture quality enable an unprecedented capture of even the largest spatial contexts.
A SINGLE CAMERA FOR MULTIPLE SURVEILLANCE OPERATORS
The combination of a complete overview and highest-detail resolution is particularly impressive: the technology can display distant objects with the same resolution as objects in the front image area. In the event of an incident, an unlimited number of zooms with extremely high resolution can be performed in all detail areas of the overall scene.
This is an especially important function in complex casino environments to ensure a successful forensic evaluation, which is not possible with PTZ and megapixel cameras (single sensor or multi sensor). When it comes to analytics, this technology is also superior to comparable systems as it enables a minimum image quality to be maintained across an entire area, an often-underestimated factor for any video-based analytics.
SMART COMBINATION OF TECHNOLOGIES IS KEY
A lot is happening in the way casinos run their businesses, from new AI-based technologies for intelligently analyzing video images, such as chip values on a blackjack or baccarat table, to capturing data for table game optimization, to casino-specific video management systems that almost work like a “casino operating system”, to new camera technology.
All in all, there is a wealth of options that promise huge efficiency gains in many areas of casino operations. The challenge for decision makers now lies in the right combination of these technologies to avoid bottlenecks in quality of individual components, so that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.