Gambling in Asia is making millions with technology|en

[ 14-09-2016 ]
Gambling in Asia is making millions with technology

If you are a big fan of gambling, take a short trip to Macau which is the largest market for gambling in Asia.

Live casino phenomenon

The developments in Macau make it easy for you to be distracted by the huge new complexes, with their vast gaming floors as full-scale recreations of Venice. Growth in the Asian gaming market can take in the cutting-edge online casino technology behind the ‘live online casino’ phenomenon and is not restricted to brick and mortar casinos.

The action at a ‘live casino’ often takes place in a purpose-built studio, complete with blackjack, roulette, baccarat and sic bo tables, manned by croupiers being as attractive as they are well trained. Online casino punters place wagers via a visual heads-up display on their smart phone, tablet, PC or laptop. These bets are relayed to the croupier who then performs the necessary actions and all the payouts are calculated automatically. For instance, in blackjack, all the cards are read by a visual recognition device when they are dealt and fed into the computer which controls the game.

The technology plays an important role in a live TV studio. Typically, two cameras are used to record the action – one films from a static position above the gaming table and the other is manned and shoots the dealer. Then the digital video is fed through into the studio’s server room. The players who receive the footage streamed on the internet via their connected device can access this video.

The game is also under the control of the server software. Players connected to the server can send their betting guides to the gaming control. The overhead camera is connected to the OCR software which locates the pocket the ball lands in. Since the control software calculates the resulting payouts, the information is then updated on each player’s screen.

On the other hand, the software can also control a monitor by allowing only the dealer to see it. It relays information such as big wins and whether new players have involved in the game. In the case of blackjack, it also relates information about the movements that players wish to take when it’s their turn to play a hand.

Makati City in the Philippine s

Philippines’ Makati City

Makati City – Asia’s hotbed of live casino action

According to Right Casino, the Philippines are now on the top when it comes to live casino studio locations. Two huge buildings in Makati City namely the RCBC Plaza and the PBCom Tower are home to more than six businesses which provide live casino functionality. Certainly, Playtech, EntwineTech, and Novenix are included.

Among them, Playtech is by far and away the largest. This Isle of Man-based company has been founded since 1999, and has remained at the forefront of the online casino industry. They support online slots and table games or even run their own online poker network.

Playtech started to expand into the burgeoning Asia gambling market in 2012. A successful live casino had already established in Estonia, but this company still wanted to appeal more to Asian gamblers, therefore, an additional studio with local croupiers and dealers was opened in Manila.

Naturally, Asian companies are benefitting from this upsurge in interest in online gambling. Dozens of websites with casino software, live casino options, and sport books are provided by the Philippines-based Opus Gaming. M88 who are the Asian arm of Gibraltar gambling giant Mansion is one of their clients.

Also riding high on the success of Asian online gambling is the appropriately-named Asia Gaming. Although the company has already founded in 2012, it has grown swiftly to become one of the leaders in this field among the region, offering live casino versions of local favorites like Sic Bo and Dragon Tiger.

Cutting edge gambling technology

Live casino companies are not the only ones hitting the jackpot when it comes to the Asian casino boom. Macau became home to several ‘mega casinos’ in the past decade and security tech firms are benefiting from the increased demand for surveillance.

Many Asian companies now supply chips with built-in radio transmitters which alert casino staff should attempt to leave the casino without cashing out or turn up with bogus chips. Casinos like the Wynn have even gone so far as to install hi-def and multi-lens digital cameras to scan the whole gaming floors.

Since Macau’s casino quarter is now home to more than ten thousand security cameras, the venues are also benefitting from facial recognition software. In order to get the most benefit out of this, the top casinos distribute images of known-trouble makers between the authorities and one another, the upshot of which is that said ‘patrons’ are usually marched from the casino before they are sent to the gaming tables.

The demand for casino gambling in Asia is so high that there are not adequate spots at blackjack and roulette tables to go round. Plenty of casinos have now installed automated terminals where allows customers choose their own gambling pastime from the dozen or many other offers. Most of the machines are made in Asia albeit by foreign companies such as Aristocrat, Bally Technologies, and Novomatic.

Nevertheless, such automation leaves casino vulnerable to those fraudsters capable of catching up with the technology. The scale of this problem in Asia is like an epidemic. Illegal gambling circles have long held sway in the region, their power opening their way to Europe where they have reaped billions from in-play betting on fixed sporting contests. Simply keeping tabs on these circles has proved a huge drain on the resources of agencies like Interpol.

This August, Interpol announced that Operation Aces, an investigation into illegal online gambling in Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam had resulted in 48 arrests and the seizure of computers as well as other electronic devices.

Four Korean nationals who were arrested in Thailand as part of INTERPOL’s Operation Aces.

Four Koreans were arrested in Thailand as part of INTERPOL’s Operation Aces.

The arrested people have been accused of handling US$10 million illegally. Although this is but a drop in the ocean, it is still seen what the seized USB keys, computers, and mobile phones might yield. As for the role technology played in completing the operation, Interpol is understandably keeping mum. Nevertheless, it’s worth remembering that Interpol’s Global Complex for Innovation opened for business in April 2015 and has already held its global takedown of the SIMDA botnet infrastructure.

And since the IGCI is located in Singapore, the signs are hopeful that gambling in Asia won’t be undone by people who look to illegally stack the odds in their favor.

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