Some of the casinos in Macau, China, that has been one of the biggest gaming hubs, have seen the incorporation of AI Technology to track the betting habits of people. This technology has been rolled out to identify the players that are likely to spend and lose big.
Among what has been rolled out is the facial recognition technology, hidden cameras, digitally enabled baccarat tables and poker chips. The technology has been based to find out the behavior of the gamblers at the betting table which in turn shows the bettors with the biggest appetite.
However, in a twisted turn of events, the technology has not been rolled out to protect the gamblers but to identify the casinos VIPs and ensure their interests are catered for. MGM Resorts’ Macau Casinos and Las Vegas Sands have already adopted the technology according to Jinshan Hong, Bloomberg journalist. He proceeds on to state that after a VIP customer is identified, the house will be notified and special treatment can be given to him/her through a customer rep who will be designated to him/her.
Confirming some of the tokens that are given out, Suncity’s junket operations executive director, Andrew Lo, stated,
‘Those who can afford to lose, those who play even more when losing money, we can for sure offer them a free meal.’
The AI technology has also been used in providing an ability where collusions between players and dealers can be detected.
Infringe the law
However, the move has not been received all positively among the customer base with reasons such as invading on their privacy taking the center stage. Majority of the guests know they are monitored but the to the extent of knowing the spending habits, Ben Lee, partner at Asian gaming consultancy IGamiX, claims that the technology adoption is likely to ‘infringe the law’ as many of the players’ activities in the casinos will be monitored.
Other critics cite that AI Technology will be another avenue where players will be forced to stay in the gambling floor longer as they would have expected in a bid to chase the VIP Gamblers title.
To Keith Whyte, executive director National Council on Problem Gambling, the people who would be going through gambling problems, AI Technology would make the situation worse terming the operations as ‘devastating and even life-threatening.’
Stephen Schwarzman take
Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone billionaire, whose firm owns the Las Vegas Cosmopolitan, is reported to have donated $188 Million to the UK-based Oxford University to study the AI ethics. This is in addition to $350 Million that was gifted to MIT to do a feasibility study on the rise of AI. The requirements were to cite the opportunities and challenges presented by technology adoption.
In a January Washington Post, the billionaire talked of how he had looked at companies and industries that were heading on the positive side and the ones that were heading on the negative side. Championing the technology, Stephen said that the companies that were about to be transformed would be the ones that adopted the technology.
‘AI will shape the world in ways we can’t imagine. The sooner we come to an understanding of AI that ensures its powerful capabilities are a net positive for people and workers, the more wisely we can develop and deploy it.’