Robot Card Dealers On Their Way; Cheating In Casinos Futile, Scary

Look, if Paradise Entertainment Ltd. wants to kick-start the obsolesence of human casino card dealers, that’s between the gaming dens, gaming commissions, and possibly a few employee unions.

However, if you’re all so intent on staffing tables with robots, JUST MAKE THEM LOOK LIKE ROBOTS, OK? I would rather get cleaned out by Bender B. Rodriguez, Marvin the Paranoid Android or a half-skinned T-800 than something that looks like it skinned a known cheat and turned her into a raincoat.

“Min”, the curve-tastic robot croupier that Paradise touts as a revolution in reduced labor costs among gaming establishments, does not make us want to play a round of baccarat, poker, or blackjack. Knowing that she may soon be on her way with a few friends to American casinos after an enthusiastic reaction at a November gaming convention in Macau just makes us want to lobby for increased defense spending to keep Harrison Ford and Linda Hamilton safe.

In addition to valuable reduced labor exposure during slow periods, especially on low-denomination games, casino operators have a hunch that novice gamblers will feel less discouraged by a costly mistake made in the cold face of Min or her thus far unnamed competing android dealer from Hanson Robotics that they would being soundly defeated by a human dealer. Either product could also provide a trailblazing end-run around bans on human dealers in other gambling jurisdictions, such as the state of New York.

Curiously enough, robotic dealers likely won’t jibe so well with the preference Asian gamblers tend to exhibit for real-time banter with dealers and other players in noisy, crowded spaces. It isn’t unusual in markets such as Macau for gamblers to amp up the table’s atmosphere with enthusiastic shouts and even banging on the table to half-stiffen their betting boners.

If anything, statistics say, Macau in particular may soon find itself with more human croupiers than needed. The slowdown of the city’s gaming industry may ease the brakes onto any planned Chinese rollouts as long as labor unions would stand ready to double down on their ongoing lobbying for the Macanese government to continue limiting dealer gigs extended to foreign workers.

Meanwhile, Hanson’s developers are stepping up their game to potentially integrate more personal service to valued high-rollers through added facial recognition software in more advanced future models. These robo-dealers may even one day greet these presitigious players by name as they step up to a table. That same technology could also prove useful in alerting casino security to known cheats and troublemakers via automatic text messages to floor managers.

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Source – Bloomberg

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