Already in Use Worldwide, Smart Cards Are Coming to North American Casinos

New technology is slowly rolling across the globe that will not only make cashless gaming system more secure, but also add features that will improve the customer experience in casinos – provided casinos are willing to pay the extra cost.

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The technology is the smart card which, already being used in casinos in Europe and elsewhere, and has begun to appear in North America, goes one better the magstripe cards still used in many casinos worldwide.

The main difference between the two cards is how they store information capsa . Mag-stripe cards maintain customer information on a back-end computer, with which the card must link in order to make a transaction. Smart Cards have an embedded microchip in which all data is stored and thus can facilitate transactions even when there is no link to a back-end computer.

The initial use of Smart Card technology in U.S. casinos will be in player tracking cards. While enabling customers to play slot machines and other games in a cashless environment, the smart player cards also will store information about the guest – including his favorite games and wagering patterns – which casinos can use to promote future visits.

Such a card is currently being introduced in the U.S. market by IGT Network Systems, Las Vegas.

IGT, which brought TITO (Ticket-In/Ticket-Out systems) to the gaming floor a decade ago with its EZ Pay System, recently expanded the line to include the EZ Pay Smart Card, on which all cash values are stored on a microchip embedded in the card. When this card is plugged into a slot machine, the stored cash value is instantly altered with each play, deducting cash value with each loss and adding sums with each win. This eliminates the need to take winnings on TITO tickets for cashing at teller stations or automated kiosks, he noted.

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Best of all we were still able to add a little casino flair to the mix. These felt cloths offered suited corners of the four different variations. Needless to say, adding these to our homemade tables made a huge difference when we played.

Eventually people uptown caught wind of the new look and people started asking if they could get in the games. While it wasn’t our normal ritual, we decided to give it a try and see how it went. The first go round was complete and utter disaster. We allowed drinks and it seriously felt like everyone and their mother spilled something. Fortunately for us it was an easy fix thanks to the durability of each Casino Poker Table Felt.

Over the course of the next few months, things just kept slowly gathering pace, and we’ve now got quite a good little regular following. We’ve now formalized things a bit more, and we charge an entrance fee on the door of $20 per head, a cash bar, and we also have some simple snacks for sale too. All in all, we’ve now got a total of twenty regular tables and it’s turned into a nice little earner; and all because of an idea to enhance our own card playing experience by decking out our tables with casino poker table felt.

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