by Vic Taucer
TECHNOLOGY AND TABLE GAMES!
How to use technology to make your table game product better…here’s a hint, the product is not the games but the staff that delivers it!!
This years G2E show, as always, delivered a wealth of new gaming product and innovations and as all things in our age, most were technologically based. Table games products were included in this technological mix and this year’s show produced some banner ideas. The gadgets and gizmos that have made slots king are making their way into table games departments.
I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at the show titled, (who would have thought!), Table games and Technology. A great panel was put together that consisted of table game technology vendors, table games managers and table games trainers and consultants. As G2E presentations over the recent years have shown a scarcity of table games programs, we had a big audience, attentive to our every word.
Technology: What’s out there for table games?
Table Game Management Systems
Our presenters talked of a great many products available. High tech player tracking products that allow our table games operators to better gauge what our players are truly worth seemed to be the most common. Table games management systems that can measure average bet tracking by either reading chips (RFID technology) or by filming the game abound.
The proper measurement of handle on table games, to be able to get an actual look at player worth instead of using arcane theoretical performance methods ( read as guessing!), is something whose time has come in table games. All casino table game departments must get into this century and all will someday use this technology.
The rub here is as always, affordability. With making a profit increasingly difficult in table games today, overcoming the costs of this product is the dilemma. While the argument that labor saving is a by-product of this technology, it is still hard to fade the cost of these products. Hopefully there is an answer here.
Currency Counting & Validation Technology:
Table Game Bill Validators
The concept of having a bill validator on table games is a fantastic idea that would be a real boon for our operations. We would be able to measure handle,drop, insure against fraud and better measure productivity. Truly a great idea and product whose time has also come. The rub here, need I say it again, affordability. As stated, tough to make money now, are more lease fees justified?
While these and a wealth of other great technological innovations were discussed, all have merit but all have a commonality also. Most technology today is all telling us the same things. Labor saving, measure productivity better; eliminate fraudulent comps, all great things.
What we really need from Technology in table games…..
While better productivity is always a need, measuring handle is mandatory and labor savings issues are a slam dunk, the true need that Technology needs to help our table games deliver is simple:
Products that we can use to free up our staff, dealers and supervisors, to get more interactive with the customers. Have a good time with the customer so they spend more time on game. Isn’t that what it’s all about in table games?
Let’s get real here! Why do people play table games? Is it technology? I don’t think people walk away from their table game experience and say “ What great shuffle machines they had at that Blackjack game!”, or “ I really had a great time with the Table Games Management system!”
People play table games for the social aspect, interacting with each other, with the staff is where it’s at. Don’t believe me on this? Go to the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, one of the only places on Earth where slots take a backseat to table games, all because of this social interaction. The entertainment factor is another reason why people play table games. Technology must allow the staff to get more entertaining with the customer. Freeing up dealers and supervisors from current accounting and game protection duties can make this happen. Times have changed in table games, it’s as much about the social interactivity the player gets as it is about the action.
Table Game Technology and Training:
How do you insure that your staff is truly taking advantage of technology to better interact with the customer? You can’t just hope it happens. Do this and staff will use technology just to make their job easier, is that what you want to spend your money on?
When incorporating technology, also do the requite training:
• Training for Dealers: Over and above how to use the technology! Training programs to change the dealer’s interactive methods, to get them to act less like a factory worker and more like an interactive personality that more free time will allow.
• Training for Supervisors: Over and above how to use the technology. Training programs that put less emphasis on game protection and accounting and more emphasis on player interaction. Maybe a thought process change that gets supervisors thinking less like a cop and more like a casino interactive personality.
Bottom line here, technological advances are needed in table games and all have merit. The goal here is to increase play and especially time on game by the player. Technology can make this happen but only by allowing staff to get more interactive with the customer. This makes the affordability issue a non issue.
Date Posted: 03-Feb-2007
Vic Taucer is president of Casino Creations; a Las Vegas based casino educational, training and consulting company. Casino Creations specializes in table game evaluations, customer service training, dealer training and managerial training for table games operations. A former professor of casino management for the University & Community College System of Nevada and long time casino manager at many resorts, Vic can be reached at 702-595-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Look for Vic Taucer’s new book, Table Game Management, available at www.casinocreations.com and at booksellers nationwide