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Smart casinos: the hardware and software solutions behind them

Smart casinos: the hardware and software solutions behind them
As with several other industries, casino solutions too are becoming smarter as technologies like artificial intelligence, enhanced sensors and machine learning enter the gaming industry.
As with several other industries, casino solutions too are becoming smarter as technologies like artificial intelligence, enhanced sensors and machine learning enter the gaming industry. There is little doubt among industry professionals that smart casinos are the future of this vertical, but it does appear that most are yet to reach a consensus on how to define these technologically advanced gambling places. In other words, what makes a casino smart?

According to Gali Golan, VP of Marketing at CymbIoT, an Israel-based company that provides software solutions in this vertical, a smart casino is one that uses the integrated capabilities of its different systems and sensors to provide each player with an experience that will maximize their gaming time and investment, while delivering employees and staff with the information they need in order to provide this experience – and prevent fraud, deception or aggression.

“A smart casino automates this process as much as possible, in order to free manpower resources for tasks that require ‘the human touch’,” Golan said.

Others agree that it is all about the experience. Olive Chuang, Senior Director of Taiwan-based Ganlot that manufactures hardware solutions for casinos, said that the smart casino is a concept to provide precise and well-planned service through IoT technology to achieve advanced player experience while helping casino operators to save on human resources and costs.

Fitting the right software for smart casinos

CymbIoT’s solution is based on the integration of their software with surveillance and operational hardware in order to upgrade existing infrastructure. It can connect to cameras, microphones and any other web-enabled system that is already installed and allows them to work together even if they are from different systems, manufacturers and providers.

The functions that the company’s solution enables, after a quick installation, range from player recognition to card and chip tracking. These begin from the moment an individual enters the casino.
smart casino software
CymbIoT's integrated vide management module

The player recognition function identifies a player from the moment of entry, in order to admit and alert for known players, deny access to underage or banned players and identify new players. A statistical analysis function keeps track of the number of players entering through the door, the number of first-time players etc.

Once the player is inside, the system tracks his or her gaming experience while providing real-time customized alerts and notifications to the management. Based on the players’ time at the gaming stations, it helps to create viable incentive and loyalty plans. CymbIoT also enables real-time promotions on dedicated message boards or slot machine toppers.

And it’s not just the players’ activities that are monitored. Actions of an agent are also tracked to reward and encourage promotional initiatives. Employee movement and presence can also be monitored to optimize personnel strategy. Even cards and chips can be tracked to their actual micro-location to prevent fraud. Finally, the solution can be integrated with external systems such as CRM, social media harvesters etc.

“The CymbIoT C&C uses integral analytics and algorithms to integrate data and operational capabilities from stand-alone systems and sensors in order to provide features supported by their combined capabilities,” Golan said. “CymbIoT has a web-based component which provides access to all its capabilities and features through any smartphone, tablet or laptop.”

The technology behind the solution

CymbIoT’s solution is an off-the-shelf software application that can connect to any sensor, system or subsystem. It is hardware agnostic and can integrate with 99 percent of protocols in the market.

“Our product can – and does – integrate with cameras, microphones, A/C systems, Access Control Systems, Waste Management Systems… even radars and seismic sensors!” Golan said. “It is designed and built to enable the user to connect to multiple systems and sensors – and make them all work together in a way that makes them more than the sum of their components. Our solution is the only available out-of-the box software product that can connect to and integrate with any existing software and hardware, and apply integral analytics and algorithms to turn any casino into a smart casino.”

Integrating the right hardware to make casinos smarter

While the advancement of algorithm-based technologies has, to a large extent, increased the importance of software in casinos, nothing can be achieved without the proper hardware in place. This is where a company like Ganlot comes into the picture. The company manufactures a wide range of industrial grade hardware for slot machines – the logic units known as gaming boards and systems. The logic unit is a critical part of a slot machine that has an important role to play in the game content and its math logic.

“As game data and info must be protected very well, a good gaming board not only requires good computing and graphic performance, high-security design is more important,” Chuang said. “Besides gaming boards, Ganlot also develops various product lines as well as innovative technologies to catch the trend, even to lead the trend, in this industry. For instance, Ganlot’s new product, the Gaming Mixer of Outputs, can integrate video, audio and touch from two resources and present at one single slot machine up to [the quality of] 4K. Also, we follow the trend closely and develop various applications for interactive gaming, skilled-based gaming, iGaming and so on.”
smart casino hardware
Ganlot's gaming boards

Ganlot is a fairly new company in the market, but its parent company has about 20 years’ experience in industrial PC manufacturing. Recently, Ganlot had made fresh inroads into the market with All-in-One (AIO) gaming systems based on different platforms from x86 to RISC solutions.

“For gaming industry, game content and the hardware design needs to be closely bounded up with regulations and jurisdictions,” Chuang said. “Almost every single part has been regulated, however, rules change every day. Therefore, Ganlot has especially formed a group dedicated to study jurisdictions. Not only being compliant with every specific jurisdiction, the gaming function is also a very important part. Ganlot follows the rules and implements the standard to their products. All the Ganlot products are designed with complete gaming functions.”

How these solutions make a smart casino

If smart casinos are mainly about the experience and the use of technology to take maximum advantage of the resources available, how does a software and hardware maker accomplish this? To Golan, her company does this by integrating different systems, merging their data and operations in ways that maximize the utility of the information and capabilities of these systems. This data, which can be visual, audio or statistical, is then analyzed and used to trigger actions that create the optimal and the most profitable experience for each player in the casino, while “nipping the bud” of any aggression or fraudulent activity.

From a hardware point of view, Chuang added that their gaming solutions can be linked with various devices to make a casino smarter. For example, the company’s facial sensor could be integrated with the slot machines to help casinos identify the customers and provide customized services. Ganlot also develops smart sensors such as those for temperature, air quality, humidity or to sense if there are too few players within a certain area, so that operators can adopt corresponding actions. In short what the company offers is not just a product, but an integrated solution for more efficient casinos. 

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