Many people love to gamble. Therefore, it goes without saying that many people love visiting casinos, whether at their land-based locations or on their online and mobile versions. This is the biggest reason why places like Las Vegas and Macau are among the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
Over the years, casinos have spread both in popularity and in number. There are now countless land-based casinos not only across the United States, but all over the world. And as technology grew, casinos have also found their way into the worldwide web. There are now hundreds of online casinos for players to choose from, and many of these sites can be accessed from almost all countries of the world.
As casinos became more popular and widely accepted, it also became a highly lucrative industry and these days, the online gambling sector has become a bit more popular than traditional land-based casinos. Naturally, an industry that has become so lucrative would attract fraudsters, scammers, and various sorts of criminals. There are players who try to cheat at casino games, casino workers who rip off their customers, and third-party individuals who try to scam both operators and players alike.
Since the beginning, land-based casinos did their best to employ whatever technology was available to them in order to ensure the safety and security of both their customers and their business. With the boom of online casinos, the industry was presented with new challenges in keeping customers’ money safe as well as in keeping the games fair. This is why land-based and online casinos now use cutting-edge technology to guarantee fair play and safeguard financial transactions.
Here we will discuss the most common technologies used by both land-based casinos and modern casino websites to ensure a safer and more exciting gambling experience. Note that as technology advances, the scams pulled by criminals also become more and more ingenious. People involved in security are now in a constant race against criminals who are constantly working on ways to break every security measure ever developed.
Land Casino Security
The staff has always been the first line of defense at land-based casinos, and in the past, they have mostly been more than enough to deter any attempt at cheating, fraud, and other types of criminal activity. With the continual development of modern technology, however, the human factor has become a bit less important and it has become imperative to come up with even more advanced technologies to ensure security. Here are some of the ways land-based casinos are now working to keep the gambling experience fair, fun, and safe for all:
1. Licence Plate and Face Recognition System
These days, security at land-based casino locations begins not upon entering the building that houses the casino, but out in the parking lot. As soon as your car enters a casino’s premises, optical sensors will collect an image of your licence plate, turn it into text, and then run it through a database to see if it is a ‘hot’ number. Hot numbers are those that are on casinos’ list of scammers and troublemaking customers, and cars with hot numbers that are identified by casino scanners may be flagged for previous offenses. Security officers are then notified, and the identified offender will be banned from the casino before he or she has even entered the building itself.
In the event that a criminal’s vehicle escapes recognition, they’re not completely in the clear just yet. Casinos do not just use licence plate recognition systems, but also face recognition systems. Just as licence plates are scanned when vehicles enter the premises, the face of every single person who enters a casino building is also scanned for security purposes.
With some face recognition systems, the scanned images are simply stored for later review. With modern face recognition systems, however, immediate comparison of scanned faces against a database of scammers is now possible. This modern security feature enables authorities to recognise casino cheaters almost immediately, and potentially expose all types of criminals.
At present, there are still arguments over how effectively the system is being implemented, but the truth is that face checks have always been a thing at casinos, although it was mostly done by security personnel in the past.
2. Marked Cards
For whatever reason, a traditional card game--baccarat--has always been involved in gambling scandals. It seems to be a favourite among scammers, particularly in Asia, where scammers typically switch cards to get ahead in the game.
The solution casinos came up with is to deal marked cards to players, these cards have barcodes that enable tracking of the cards by a system called ‘angel eye’. Naturally, just like the licence recognition and face recognition technologies, angel eye technology is camera-based. However, the underlying software of angel eye does more than just track each marked card. It also simulates the end result of the game that is most likely to occur on the table.
If the system detects any discrepancy in the way the game unfolds, or if it detects that at least one of the marked cards is no longer in play, the security personnel will be alerted that something is wrong. The technology is, of course, used not only in baccarat, but in all card games in casinos. For now, the technology still doesn’t have the capability to detect ‘advantage play’ techniques like edge sorting. The good news is that casino dealers are getting better and better in recognising these schemes as they happen.
3. Smart Chips
Casino chips may be worthless in the outside world, but they still rule supreme in land-based casinos as the main currency to this day. Chips are so valuable in a casino that scammers often bring fake chips with them and then try to exchange them for money by pretending to score a win.
Fortunately for casinos, they have found a solution in the form of ‘smart’ chips. Casino chips typically have the casino’s logo, a stamp, and a serial number. Smart chips go even further by emitting a radio frequency signal that is recognised by a machine used by personnel at the cash-in booth. Counterfeit chips are therefore detected immediately, and the frequency can be changed for stolen chips to prevent them from being exchanged at a later date.
Some scammers also try to switch the denomination of chips in your wager. They usually reduce the value of losing bets or increase the value of winning bets. This tactic worked because cheaters were often able to trick even the most vigilant of dealers. With smart chips, however, the actual size of wagers being placed is tracked. This means every single detail on every table is being tracked at all times, making it practically impossible for anyone to switch chips denominations.
Online and Mobile Casino Security
Online activities are always subject to security concerns, much more so when financial transactions are involved. When people log on to casino websites, they want to be assured of at least two things: that the games will be fair and that their personal financial details are protected. Here are the modern technologies online casinos are now using to ensure customer data protection and fair play:
1. Random Number Generator
If you’re a fan of slot games, then this is something you should know: All slot games have a random number generator (RNG) under the hood. This helps ensure that the slot games are always fair and that the result is dictated by nothing other than your luck. The technology emulates real-life conditions such as a dealer shuffling a deck of cards.
The mathematics behind the technology is quite complicated, but simply put, the computers use a number generator that relies on an algorithm to create random numbers. RNGs are used both online and in mobile casinos, which means the same technology is used, regardless of whether you are playing on your desktop computer or your mobile phone.
2. SSL Encryption
Online casino players are also concerned about the safety of their money when they’re depositing or withdrawing money. To assure them of the security of their financial data, online casinos typically use secure sockets layer (SSL) technology. SSL is used not only by online casinos, but by most businesses that rely on online transactions for at least part of their operations. It is primarily used to secure email and various types of online payment transactions.
It is a standard encryption protocol that works on a healthy combination of data encryption, data authentication, and guaranteeing the integrity of transmitted data. And though the technology is used across the internet, online casinos have more of a need for it than other types of website do. Although it isn’t 100% impervious to attack, that little padlock just before the URL in your web browser generally indicates that a website encrypts data you share with them as it travels across the worldwide web, protecting it from exposure and compromise.
Cryptocurrency gained popularity a few years ago, and that popularity continues to grow to this day. This is slowly becoming a widely accepted form of currency in several online transactions covering various areas of everyday life.
Where online casinos are concerned, standard payment methods such as Visa/Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller, among others have always been the accepted payment methods. In recent years, however, more progressive online casino operators have started offering the ability to deposit and withdraw Bitcoins and other types of cryptocurrency on their websites.
One of the best things about cryptocurrency, and perhaps the biggest reason why it can be the perfect payment method for customers of online casinos, is that it allows you to make anonymous transactions. At the core of cryptocurrency is a new type of technology called blockchain, which is excellent for customer protection. Coupled with cryptography for validating and securing transactions, cryptocurrency just might be the perfect solution for online casinos.
Ensuring Your Own Security
Both land-based and online casinos certainly do their best to keep themselves and their customers safe from fraud. However, as customers, you cannot put all the burden of protection on the casino operators’ shoulders. You, too, have an important role to play, particularly where online security is concerned.
For one thing, it can be tempting to go for the most attractive no deposit casino sites, but you have to bear in mind that it is just as important for you to do your due diligence and ensure that the casino you choose to play in has excellent security credentials.
How do you check a casino’s security credential? Well, regardless of whether you’re planning a trip to a physical location or simply wanting to have some online fun, a casino would likely have a website you can check. See what information they have with regard to the security measures they have in place. It is also a good idea to check out independent review sites to see what people say about a particular casino you’re interested in. Most importantly, make sure the casino you choose is licensed in the country where you’re playing. If you play in an unlicensed casino and something goes wrong, you will, unfortunately, have no recourse, so guard your safety.
If you play slot games, baccarat, poker, or any other casino game on a mobile platform, then you should also follow some basic safety rules. First, you have to make sure you’re playing on a secure connection. And you have to make sure the connection you’re using isn’t going to suddenly drop at some point. Second, you would do well to avoid saving your passwords in autofill, even when you’re using a gadget that no one else uses. There’s always a chance of it getting stolen or lost. Finally, always err on the side of caution and log out of your account or app every single time you finish a gaming session.
It’s hard to say what the gambling industry--both online and offline--is going to look like five years down the road. But one thing is for sure: Customers will always want to be assured of safety and security when they’re playing, and legit casino operators will always leverage the latest technologies to make sure they deliver only the best to their customers, not only in terms of game types and selection, but also in terms of safety and security.