The idea of robots dealing cards is no longer a futuristic one, still requiring years of technological advancement. The technology is already here, but will human beings be replaced at casino tables, or will we always have something extra that circuitry cannot match? Hong Kong is home to Paradise Entertainment Ltd, who produce a variety of gaming machines. They have come up with a prototype called “Min” who looks fairly human from a distance, but is in fact, all machine. Currently capable of simply dealing cards, she may yet be augmented with language recognition and be able to speak to customers from across the world, alongside being able to recognise the faces of regular customers. In Macau, trials are already under way, with further testing due to take place in the USA, where labour costs are higher than Asia. There are already potential buyers keeping a close eye on developments, despite Paradise Entertainment not yet having come up with a price tag for Min.
"Min" a prototype produced by Paradise Entertainment LTD
Cheaper and faster
The truth is, casinos could have a financial incentive to use robotic dealers, as they don't get tired, or make mistakes, but most of all, they don't require a wage. Furthermore, robots can deal the cards at a faster rate, and ensure that the action flows extremely quickly. When you consider these facts, it becomes clear that there is a compelling case to be made when it comes to the idea of replacing human dealers. Robots can also be the answer to gambling jurisdictions that ban real, human dealers. There are of course downsides though.
For one thing, players may find it difficult to trust a machine. We see echoes of this in the online poker world, where players can lose pots and start typing in the chat box about how online poker is rigged. The notion of a computer deciding which card will come out next, will never inspire universal trust among players. Additionally, there is a social aspect to sitting down to play cards, and dealer is an important part of that. People like human interaction while they gamble, generally speaking.
At this point, it seems very unlikely that machines will take over the role of card dealers, but we should remember one important point: People are happy to play slots in a casino, and also, poker on the internet remains popular. We already have automatic shuffle machines too, so we shouldn't assume that customers could never get used to this idea.
Article By Craig B.