Could AI Eventually Replace Live Casino Dealers?
Most individuals in the gambling industry have heard about or participated in the recent debates regarding the cost of maintaining and employing live casino dealers in brick-and-mortar and live online casinos. During the discussion, casino professionals also discussed the possibility of AI or robot dealers and the impact the technology could have on the industry.
Robot dealer may seem to be a viable solution to help casinos save money. If the dealer is a robot, casinos will not have to pay a salary to a human dealer. However, some gamers are doing want a robot in the dealer role. For this reason, it is not likely that AI dealers will be mainstream in the gambling world any time soon. Even though many gamblers are opposed to an AI dealer, some businesspeople in the gambling industry are looking to bring robots ever closer to everyday reality, especially when considering the costly tasks of recruiting, training, and paying casino dealers.
Robotic Workers Already Exist
Individuals who have cruised on one of Royal Caribbean’s larger ships have likely seen the AI bartender. The robotic bartender mixes cocktails for cruise ship guests, creates custom drinks to order and dances to make the experience even more entertaining. This AI worker is known as The Tipsy Robot and has debuted in Las Vegas as well. This technology could be the first step toward inspiring other casino executives to introduce robotic workers into their businesses; eventually, the casino experience could include nonhuman dealers.
What Is a Robot Dealer?
The concept of an AI dealer was a significant discussion point at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Asian in 2017. The event is one of the best places to showcase new and future developments designed for casinos. Due to the 150% increase in dealer salaries over the past decade, casino owners are looking for an affordable alternative. The Global Gaming Expo was the ideal space to suggest that some table games in markets like Macau could offer both automated and a human dealer to settle gambling disputes.
Several manufacturers are experimenting with mechanical robot-dealing arms, but many people are still opposed to the concept. Some professionals are skeptical about whether AI dealers will appeal to the broader gambling market. The gambling industry overall seems willing to permit an element of AI intervention in casino games in the future. Still, some doubt whether robotic dealers will ever take over the gambling industry and replace humans altogether.
Gamblers in China, for example, enjoy the challenge of attempting to outsmart a human dealer to gain control over a game. If the players were playing with a robotic dealer, they would be less likely to try to out-do the machine and may be more likely to accept the outcome of the game.
Using AI Dealers for Fun
International Game Technology (IGT Plc) also highlighted the fact that human dealers play an important role in casinos. Live dealers provide entertainment for guests, which indicate that the human element in gambling establishments is still crucial. One reason why live online casinos are growing in popularity is that players know that they have a human dealer, even though the game is virtual. Gaming industry innovators who want to re-create the land casino experience for online bettors strive to make gamblers to feel that they are still getting human interaction. Robotic dealers can deal cards twice as fast as human dealers, but some professionals are concerned about whether the gamblers will still enjoy the experience.
Most gamblers want to take their time while playing and often double their number of hands by the hour. Some bettors also enjoy bantering with the dealer, and this element of gambling does not exist if an AI dealer is facilitating the game. However, AI continues to make progress gamers may soon encounter robots who can engage in friendly small talk throughout a game.
Is the Gambling Industry Prepared for Robot Technology?
Some gambling markets have already included robot technology in the gaming experience. However, there are still several questions surrounding whether casinos are capable of embracing this technology. It is not likely that the gambling market will accept AI dealers in a wholesale format. As of right now, people are not sure whether the fundamental economics are in place for the rise of robotic dealers. It seems that the consensus is that AI dealers are not a feasible option for the foreseeable future. However, AI dealers could sometimes stand in for a human dealer for a short time.
Some assert that perhaps live dealers should be in place for certain times of the day, with a virtual dealer being in place for quite periods or after hours. The “shift change” could lower casino costs and appease customers who prefer a human dealer, as well as bettors who want to learn more about robotic dealers.
Casinos will likely include robotic dealers in the future, but it is vital for industry leaders and gamers to remember that the robots are machines. AI machines are vulnerable to misuse and hacking, which could lead to problems for the gambling industry. AI developers would have to create advanced software for robotic dealers to ensure that gamblers can use technology safely.
AI Dealers and the Future
Macau’s Paradise Entertainment has already developed a robotic dealer prototype in hopes of introducing the US states where live dealers are forbidden. Resort World Casino in New York also uses an AI dealer; electronic games are available in the facility to get around the laws that prohibit human dealers.
As of right now, the AI robot can only deal cards, but some developers are talking about advancing the technology so that the robot can recognize the faces of the players and speak several languages. The technology could be taken even further to permit robotic dealers to play convincingly against punters and settle split pots. Reports indicate that a Hanson Robotics robot dealer with a movable face and interactive features to mimic the human dealer experience.
Some gaming analysts also say that AI dealer technology could also allow robotic dealers to laugh, make small talk, and congratulate bettors. Generally, the early response to AI dealers has been somewhat positive; however, this may change if gamblers get upset after losing a hand. Will the bettors complain to the robot the same way they would if the dealer were human? Alternatively, would players be less likely to get angry while playing if there were no human element? Robotic dealers can reduce dealer error, which works in favor of casinos.
Will Gamblers Ever Accept An AI Dealer?
Most people are fascinated with watching robots but do not necessarily want to interact with them; this is especially true for robots that look like humans. On the other hand, novice gamblers may feel more comfortable with a robotic dealer, since they can make their rookie mistakes in a less humiliating environment. New players may even be looking for AI gaming tables until they are more comfortable with the overall casino experience.
For the most part, it is not likely that casinos or technology companies will completely do away with their plans include robot dealers in casinos around the world. However, it is also unlikely that this change will occur overnight. It could be years before AI dealers are commonplace, which is excellent news for human dealers who concerned about job security.
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As an avid video poker player and lover of real money online blackjack, Thomas is the founder and guiding voice behind the Top Casino Picks community. A project manager at a London based Fortune 500 tech company, Thomas is an online casino enthusiast who founded TCP as a hobby to help other players avoid the headaches and hassles he has encountered when trying to find the best real money online casinos.
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