Recent sales figures released by a major supplier of gaming equipment illustrate the widespread adoption of RFID technology by casinos around the world.
Gaming Partners International Corporation (GPI), a producer of casino chips and table game equipment, announced that 41% ($8.6 million) of its revenue for the first half of 2008 from worldwide chip sales were for chips with embedded RFID. This included 40% of the chip sales in the North American market and 48% of the chip sales in the gambling center of Macau. In 2004, RFID-enabled chips accounted for just 3.4% of GPI’s sales, the number was up to 26.7% in 2007.
GPI’s RFID-enabled chips are a part of a portfolio of systems designed by the Progressive Gaming International Corporation. In the system, electronic chip floats (or holders) are placed at each gaming table. The floats are capable of identifying up to 1,000 RFID chips per second, increase real-time visibility for actual table status and results and protect against counterfeiting, theft and misuse of gaming chips.
The RFID technology offers casino operators a few other advantages. The systems enhance the wager monitoring process by automating player tracking, allowing operators to rate players based on actual wagering volumes instead of through manual estimations. RFID technology and its related systems also ease the execution of linked “bonusing” opportunities, which create progressive jackpots that drive incremental wagering volume.