Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Roulette Tables To Fight Cheats

Roulette tables may get touch screens to combat cheating!

If Microsoft's "Surface" becomes a casino fixture next to the slot machines, the touch-screen table computer will find plenty of company. Not only are digital poker tables being developed--complete with "peel up" card corners so players can read their hands discreetly--but even touch-sensitive roulette games are on the way.

There have been attempts in the past to develop "pastpost free" roulette tables, but those failed mainly because the added protection brought along with it too many inconveniences, such as alarms going off when players innocently reached over the layout to lend a cigarette lighter or shake a hand while the table´s anti-pastposting device was activated to catch roulette players´ hands on the layout when they weren´t supposed to be there, mainly after the dealer had already marked the winning number with the dolly, at which time any hands entering the layout were detected as possible cheat tools. Similar to radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, this latest "safe casino play" invention should be more successful than its forebearers, but as RFID technology has been very slow to catch on worldwide in casinos, we will have to wait and see just how much a pain in the...hand...these touch screen roulette tables will be.

The "MultiPlay Roulette" system is the latest from Sweden's TouchTable, featuring a 56-inch touch LCD with 3,840 × 2,160 resolution. The table can accommodate up to seven players and, thanks to the company's proprietary technology, it can identify each person's bet.

Like other digital casino products, the idea is to speed the pace of play and reduce the chances of discrepancies or cheating. Because, as some of us have learned painfully over the years, fast play always favors the house.

To read a magazine article I wrote on RFID technology in casinos, click here.