If there’s a thread that pulls together Casino Journal’s Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products Awards for 2009, it’s that the future really is now. The products that made the grade represent forward-thinking, novel concepts designed to take casinos to the next level.
This year’s Top 20 cover a lot of ground. They include business intelligence tools, software applications that leverage the power of social media, server-based gaming, digital way-finding, mobile couponing, novel slot and electronic table game concepts, new cabinets and specialty table game and security products.
Elite Baccarat/Perfect Pay Smart Table — Walker Digital Gaming
Walker Digital Gaming’s Elite Baccarat adds a new level of excitement to baccarat with new bets and play options while dynamically calculating odds to create the opportunity for higher house advantages on increased bet volumes. At the same time, Perfect Pay eliminates losses due to mistaken pays, cheating, counterfeits and inflated player ratings. For the first time, baccarat players can change their bet, place new bets or settle a hand after the first four cards of the game have been revealed.
If there is no game decision, players may raise a bet, switch a “player” or “banker” bet to the other side, place a late “tie” bet, place a late action bet, insure an advantaged hand or take an instant win for a guaranteed payout. An informational player screen inset at each position shows bets offered, and a simple slider lets the player quickly see the payout for any allowable bet value.
Players who choose not to place Elite bets can still take a seat and enjoy the traditional game.
Our judges found the potential of the platform intriguing.
“Walker Digital has great innovation and bringing it to baccarat is huge,” said one.
“For casino operators with baccarat dominating play this technology should be considered as a way to increase house advantage,” another judge remarked, adding his view that the dynamic odds bets and perfect play-tracking are the product’s best features.
Perfect Pay/Smart Baccarat Table Network
Baccarat on Walker Digital Gaming’s Smart Table Network with Perfect Pay looks and plays like a traditional triple-live baccarat game with live chips, live cards and a live dealer. But the company has integrated RFID technology, a card-reading shoe and its proprietary Core Game Technology to create the first networked baccarat platform that dramatically reduces previously uncontrollable casino expenses.
RFID technology and Walker Digital’s Core Game Technology work together to eliminate losses due to dealer mis-pays and counterfeit chips. They increase game speed, exactly assess player value and avoid over-comping with accurate player ratings, and they save time and labor with automated table ratings. They also provide detailed reporting on game speed, bet mix, table occupancy, turnover, theoretical win, actual win and player-betting patterns, providing intelligence to maximize dealer performance, optimize floor revenue and create powerful insights for targeted marketing.
Our judges were duly impressed.
“This product would resolve many of the problems casinos currently deal with regarding very high-end baccarat play,” said one. “It automates many of the functions of administering baccarat play, but does so in a manner that would not be intrusive to the serious high-end customer.”
Another judge noted the product would “work well in high-volume baccarat markets where the clientele prefers to handle the chips.” The features he liked best included the combination of accurate real-time bet recognition and optical card reader. “Together they allow for complete tracking of game play,” he said.