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RFID Casino Chips 271

scubacuda writes "Could casinos be the next Gillette or Wal-Mart? New Scientist and others report that casinos could soon start using RFID tags to spot counterfeits and thefts, and also to monitor the behaviour of gamblers. Embedded RFID tags should make the chips much harder to counterfeit, and placing tag readers at staff exits could cut down on theft by employees. (With companies like Infosys helping clients identify and plan pilot RFID projects, we'll no doubt be seeing more and more companies dabbling in this area. Those interested in reading objections to RFID use should check out the position paper issued by CASPIAN, EPIC, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Junkbusters, ACLU, Meyda Online, EFF, and PrivacyActivism.)"
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RFID Casino Chips

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  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:33PM (#7933060) Homepage Journal
    They can more easily monitor your swing of bet levels......
    • by Mod Me God ( 686647 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:34PM (#7933082)
      Not when I get my RFID reader and read the tags on the cards in blackjack ;)
    • I'd be willing to put up with that if they would also track the cards so that I could be 100% certain the dealer wasn't dealing seconds.
    • by glorf ( 94990 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:56PM (#7933359)
      The article talks mainly about being able to identify the chips as being authentic. I think that installing the equipment at each betting spot on the table to read the different IDs, lookup the dollar value in a central database and do the math to figure out total bet would be a little much. It would take some serious hardware to do real-time tracking of every chip in play. Considering that dealers, pit-bosses and the eye in the sky already are fairly good at catching counters (who can't take the casino for too much if they don't want to get banned), I don't think the ROI would be there for such a massive system.

      Having a few readers in the cage to verify authenticity before giving out cash in exchange, would be a much more efficient use of RFID.
    • by Pave Low ( 566880 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:00PM (#7933399) Journal
      I believe there's already technology that can constantly monitor bettings, though I'm not sure how widely its implemented. The eye in the sky can see that without RFID.

      Anyways, spotting a lone card counter really isn't that hard anyways. To be a really effective counter, your betting levels needs to swing wildely from 10-1 if you're using a hi-lo count, and pit bosses can see it a mile away.

      It's team play that is really hard for casinos to spot, like when a spotter can call other people in when a shoe is hot, and they can bet huge.

    • by B'Trey ( 111263 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:08PM (#7933486)
      Even if that's true, which I'm not at all certain of, I don't see it as an issue. You have no right to card counting.

      In fact, I don't see this as an issue at all. The casino already knows how many chips I buy, they can keep track of how many I win, and I cash them in before I leave.

      The real issue with RFIDs is that they can be used to track people over time, and for purposes much different than their announced use. I'd have absolutely no problem with Wal-Mart (or whoever) using RFIDs to track inventory if they were somehow turned off when I purchased the merchandise, somewhat like the magnetic devices that are currently used for anti-theft measures.

    • When I was in Reno some time ago, I noticed a lot of casinos advertising 1 deck blackjack. I'm guessing they think they can take money from people who think they can count cards, but especially after a few of the complimentary drinks, can't keep track as well as they thought.
  • Sure, RFID the chips for fraud and theft purposes, but don't link me to the damn things. There's enough trickery goes on behind the scenes already.
    • Re:Well.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by goofballs ( 585077 )
      they'd have to add a *lot* more infrastructure to link you to the chips- eveytime you lost a bet, they'd need to checkin your chips, when you won, they'd need to checkout chips to you, etc. imagine that at someplace like a craps table. and of course, you'd need to sign up first just to be able to bet. ain't gonna happen.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:34PM (#7933077) Homepage
    So they now have to stop in the kitchen to wrap that stack of $100.00 chips in tinfoil before they leave...

    rfid is not a theft prevention solution for small items.
    • by kin_korn_karn ( 466864 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:36PM (#7933099) Homepage
      just outlaw tinfoil under the DMCA.. problem solved
    • by bigbigbison ( 104532 ) * on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:15PM (#7933568) Homepage
      At the casino I worked at, employees who have acess to the kitchen are not the same ones that have access to enough chips to make it worthwhile. There are cameras everywhere in a casino, out on the floor as well as behind the scenes.

      I honestly can't think that employee theft of chips is really that huge of an issue since the ammount of money that each cashier has is counted at the end of shift and if you are off enough money to make stealing chips worth it, say $500+ then they will not let you work there long if you are off that much very often. They even went so far as to make us use clear cups with clear liquid in them in the cage so that we could drop things in them.

      Dealers are under a lot more scrutiny from the cameras than cashiers. There are dedicated cameras looking at the chips on the table.

      At the casino I worked at, chips in the chip bank, (in storage) are supposed to be counted and verified every shift so a theft there would be caught fairly easilly.

      When I worked in the cashier cage and was the banker in charge of the cashiers in the cage, it wasn't uncommon to call down to the vault and have half a million dollars in cash delivered. So with that kind of money floating around, if I was going to steal, i wouldn't have been chips. If, as an employee, you are going to steal from the casino, you need to go big becasue if you do it multiple times, you will get caught.
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:35PM (#7933085) Journal long as they let me RFID their cards...
  • by aquarian ( 134728 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:36PM (#7933096)
    The real news here is that it took them so long! I sort of assumed they were doing this kind of thing already -- the fraud prevention stuff goes without saying, but I'm surprised they haven't been analyzing playing patterns with this technology too.
    • They analyze playing patterns with a positive feedback mechanism. It's called "comps." You voluntarily expose your play in return for perks from the hotel. Anything from free food to free meals to the show tickets that "nobody" gets.
      I just got 4th row tickets to see Elton John that way. Last season I got race tickets for pit row. All basically just for losing a couple hundred bucks playing craps :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    As soon as you walk into a casino you're already under the eye of man many cameras monitoring the place. What will this add? I mean Casinos are already Big Brother incarnate, All RFID chips will mean is that you can't cheat.

  • Link me to them... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tgd ( 2822 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:37PM (#7933111)
    This is a great use for RFID tags. Watch all the chips, watch where the move, and track which ones I have.

    I love to go to the casino and play card games like Blackjack or more importantly Craps. Accurate tracking of chips tagged to me would mean two things: accurate comping and the ability to have a technical solution to ensuring payouts are correct.

    Those of you who have played craps at a busy table will know what I mean -- the accuracy of your payouts when you win is always in the hands of the "dealer" working your half of the table. I've been payed wrong many times, sometimes in my favor, sometimes not. Sometimes money comes in from bets I forgot I had on the table, sometimes I wonder if I got missed on a payout.

    If this means that questioning a missed payout can be more accurate or means at a minimum the casino can see in aggregate when they have someone working the table who consistently makes payout errors, more power to them.

    This isn't a privacy issue. If you think you have one spec of anonymity or privacy in a casino, you're nuckin futs.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) *
      I think it is more to catch cheaters (placing late bets and stacking high value chips under the others after the hands are played) and more importantly watch card counters and their betting habbits.
    • When I'm playing craps...I know exactly how much I'm supposed to be paid. If they want to overpay me, that's fine, but, I'll call them on it everytime if they try to short me on what they owe me.

      You always have to watch out for yourself, especially as a busy craps table...

    • by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:53PM (#7933320)
      It shows that you really do play, thanks for posting tgd.

      People whose gambling experience consists of losing a roll of nickles in a slot machine, don't get it: You don't really want anonymity. You want the casino to know you're there, that you're playing, etc. You want to play in tourneys. You want comps. You want them to know you played, win or lose. If you're not picking up comps, you're missing half the strategy.

      You don't want anonymity, you want them to notice you and say "Hello mister TGF, can I get you anything?"
      • by 4of12 ( 97621 )

        You don't want anonymity

        Yes, as long as you're interested in getting the comps. And, most casinos seem to respect their clients desire to be left alone, etc.

        I'm not sure how it works when you cash in large quantities of chips (my best craps win was only $500 - a single bet).

        But there is a threshhold where the cash transaction becomes reportable to tax authorities. In those instances it would be advantageous to cash-out incrementally to avoid the trigger threshhold.

        RFID chips might make this more diffi

      • Indeed.... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by raehl ( 609729 )
        I was in Vegas last month for business. I had time to kill before a flight, so I sat at the bar and played video poker. I was up 40, down 10, and ended up even.

        On the game. I also made out with 4 beers.

        Of course, if I had lost $20, it wouldn't have been a big deal - same I would have paid for the beers had I not been gambling.

        Casinos make money off of people who GAMBLE. Those of us who bet the minimum can have a good time on the cheap. After all, even on games that only pay out 95%, if you bet $300/
    • by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) * on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:53PM (#7933325) Homepage Journal
      This isn't a privacy issue. If you think you have one spec of anonymity or privacy in a casino, you're nuckin futs.

      Excellent point that sums up the whole thing. After all, the entire point of a casino is to prey on peoples' willing suspension of disbelief.

      How can anyone who walks in and puts their cash on the table think that the casino companies [] aren't going to fleece them from the moment they enter? That those ridiculously overdone venues with their flashing neon lights [] just built themselves out of the Nevada desert []?

      On the other side of the roulette wheel, you have people who *do* think they can beat the house... the people who buy lottery tickets [] at home in blissful ignorance of the laws of mathematics.

      Neither of these groups is going to care about RFID. One group knows that they're entering a fantasy world [], and the other wouldn't believe you if you told them [].
      • by ad0gg ( 594412 )
        Thats why I play Poker when I gamble in vegas. Low limit tables ($2 $4) usuaully have beginners or drunks. Any person who has an average level of skills should easily break even if not win money even with high percentage casino rakes. Plus you get free drinks and comps.
        • Thats why I play Poker when I gamble in vegas. Low limit tables ($2 $4) usuaully have beginners or drunks.

          Good point... for all my ranting about mathematics, I still like to play the ponies [] on occasion, for the same reason. There is a large enough mass of people who play based on the horses' names, random numbers, or the color of the jockey's silks to overcome the house and state's cut.

          In fact, I could be accused of not having a dog in this fight... I've never been to a casino! The closest I've come wa
    • by mike_mgo ( 589966 )
      I doubt the chips would be tagged to individual betters. As another poster mentioned, everytime you won or lost a bet the indivivual chips would have to be logged onto and off of your comp card.

      The best that could be hoped for is to maybe see a flow of chips. What I mean is for example: maybe they see that poker players prefer to play craps and not blackjack while they wait for a poker table to open up. So then the casino could decide to shift some craps tables over near the poker room.

      I just don't see ho

    • I'm normally a privacy nut and I have no use for those greedy, slimey casinos. For the most part, I don't have a problem with it. A casino chip is basically the same thing as currency in a casino. It's money. Our privacy expectations should be the same as money.

      Basically it's an anti-theft device. If I walk into Wal-mart and try to slip stolen, tagged merchandise past the doorway I expect to set off the alarms. I think people trying to slip casino chips out side doors is wrong. Since a chip is money

      • by Jboy_24 ( 88864 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @08:31PM (#7934593) Homepage
        I know people are worried that a casino will start tracking that a Customer Relations person gave a well-known married male High Roller $1000 chip number 87654321 which four hours later was cashed by a woman of "questionable employment." Is it fair that the casino now knows the "social habits" of that high roller? Probably not. Suppose the well-know high roller was a Senator.

        If casinos starting ratting out the actions of the high rollers, highrollers would just go somewhere else.

        I saw an interview with a guy who helps highrollers out (forget the "official name")....
        it was deffinatly suggested that not only do the Casinos know about the girls, booze and drugs, in some cases they faciliate it.

        In your example, if they found that the high rollers chips were getting spent by a women of questionable employment, they'd probably just check to make sure the high roller was happy with the "Services rendered" and make sure he wasn't robbed.

    • by curunir ( 98273 ) *
      You're making the assumption that you lose money over time. In that case, you absolutely want them to know how large of a donation you're making so they can give you the appropriate tote bag. But for people who play in a manner in which the house does not have a statistical edge (read: card counters), this kind of tracking is a pain in the neck.

      Ever notice when you're sitting at a blackjack table and the pit boss comes over and asks the dealer how you're doing? If you think this is just about comps, you
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by jjoyce ( 4103 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:37PM (#7933116)
    This really changes the scrupulous image that the casinos had going for them.
  • by Ophidian P. Jones ( 466787 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:37PM (#7933120)
    As such, they are free to do whatever they like to stem losses, gain advantage over customers, etc.

    If you don't like it, you can go to another casino that doesn't use RFID chips. Ain't America grand?

    • "As such, they are free to do whatever they like to stem losses, gain advantage over customers, etc."

      But they are NOT free to do whatever they like. The business is heavily regulated by the State, especially if you're talking about Nevada. RFID chips are A-Ok, I'm sure, but they are hardly free to do "whatever" they like.
  • Private property (Score:3, Interesting)

    by El ( 94934 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:38PM (#7933121)
    The chips are the private property of the Casino... don't they have a right to do anything they please with them? Granted, they should post a notice on the doors saying "Warning, chips protected by RFID", but if having your chips tracked bothers you, simply don't gamble there. RFID itself is not the problem; using fraud or coercion to trick or force people into being tracked against their will would be a problem.
  • More power to 'em (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:39PM (#7933135)
    It's finally happened. The SlashThink phenomenon of "RFID is bad" has officially deteriorated into irrelevancy. This time, we're apparently supposed to think that RFID in casinos has something to do with our rights. It doesn't, and shouldn't. Nobody goes into a casino against their will, and nobody should be surprised that casinos exist for the sole purpose of tracking and taking money. For casinos to *not* use RFID to their advantage would be stupid and irresponsible.
    • Also, if anyone goes into a casino expecting privacy, there's something very, very wrong in their head. Casinos are probably the LEAST private places on earth.
    • Re:More power to 'em (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mal-2 ( 675116 )
      Exactly. After all, the chips are the property of the casino, only the money they are worth is yours. I don't have a problem with the casino tracking something they own. Want to break the tracking? Cash out, get new chips (there or somewhere else). It's that simple. I *really* have no problem with RFIDing chips that are not meant to move from table to table, such as roulette chips. You're required to cash out when you leave (assuming you have anything left, which a lot of people don't).

      As for card counting
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:42PM (#7933179)
    (Posting anonymously under fear of karma loss from that knee gently jerking back and forth in the Slashdot community. "Ahhhh! He's not agreeing with my anti-RFID stance! Heretic! Mod him down!")

    How does this even remotely relate to "your rights"? Casino chips are the equivalent of "disney cash" in theme parks, IE under normal circumstances they are only used within the casino itself. Preventing loss would make the casino more money, and they might even use that to raise your pay tables when you're gaming.

    The articles mention monitoring gamblers, but come on... you're in a casino! Your movements are tracked by a hundred cameras from the time you walk in to the time you walk out. Casino employees on the floor are designed to monitor your movement and habits and either 1) ask you to leave or 2) give you a free buffet coupon, depending on what you are doing. You have no privacy whatsoever and very little anonymosity in a casino. Sometimes that works out to your advantage.

    Yes, there are bad uses for RFID. I don't see this as being one of them. Next thing you know people will be crying out because a warehouse wants to use RFID on crates for inventory control.

    Oh, wait...
    • RFID has already been proposed and, I believe, used by casinos in limited amounts for counting.

      Casinos do NOT lose money by people taking chips. In fact, they encourage it by making their chips flashy, and having periodic "souvenir" designs. Chips cost around $.55 IIRC in bulk (last time I checked many years ago) for a nice design.

      Chips often have markings on the edges that are machine-readable, generally used to prevent counterfeiting and for counting.

      Casinos are generally more interested in people br
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <> on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:43PM (#7933196)
    Craps in Louie's garage from now on.

    No more Wayne Newton. No more free drinks (except a swig from that bottle of Thunderbird that Louie always has lying around). And not even a remotely comparable level of hookers.

    I'm going to go cry now.

  • Hilarious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pave Low ( 566880 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:43PM (#7933197) Journal
    All this crowing about privacy in a private establishment that has cameras covering every square inch of the property, that use computer databases and face-scanning technology to track counters and scammers, that have security everywhere because millions of dollars are passed around everyday.

    And also watched by the government gaming commissions closely, lest their gambling license get taken away or worse.

    And you're worried about fucking RFID technology in their chips?

    Casinos are one of the few places you should absolutely stay away if you are so paranoid like that.

  • This will also help in tracking profressional card counting teams as they frequently carry large numbers of chips.

    As well, if you can modify the ID in teh tags from time to time you could also "stale date" chips to stop pro-counters from storing chips for later use in a casino.

    This also helps track who is alundering chips by cashing them for teams as well
  • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:45PM (#7933215) Homepage Journal
    This most likely will happen.

    I used to work doing data visualisation for casinos - nice pretty visualisations showing slot machine usage. It was a huge hit with the casinos that used it. Most casinos use customer cards you see - you earn bonus points for awards if you put your card in the reader of the slot machine while you play. That allows the the casino to track your slot machine spending. More importantly it allows you to create visualisations of slot activity broken down by demographics (of course they collect a few personal details when they assign you your awards card...) so that they can better direct promotions, reorganise the slots on the floor (knowing where to place a bank of new slot machines can be worth a few million dollars!) etc.

    The big problem was that while you could track turnover volume on the gaming tables, you just couldn't track the movement of players very well - there was just no information on that. With this they can have you swipe your awards card when you collect your chips, then watch those chips disperse about the tables. More importantly they can track the ebb and flow - movement vectors for the chips about the floor - that can be very useful information.

    This will be a huge boon to the casino industry, who are always lookign for that new way to fleece a few more dollars of the statistically ignorant.

  • More importantly, they can monitor locals who leave the casino with a lot of chips that they plan on cashing in over time to avoid paying taxes on that one big hit.
  • Missouri laws (Score:3, Interesting)

    by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:45PM (#7933226)
    It is illegal to "pass chips" at casinos in Missouri (ie, Kansas City "boats" as they are called). Presumably to track how much you bet. They also do macro-monitoring (if you call RFID tags micromonitoring) of chips. They fill a card out with your name and some other info when you first sit down at a table, after you give them your casino card, which is a credit card like card. this card also tracks your spending/winning and keeps track of "compensation" "awards" called "comps" by regulars i think.

    RFID tags won't be much different. Who cares really?
  • RFIDs in cows & sheep. [] I wonder if this and helps with disease control.
    I count sheep for a living!

    Well actually I am a computer programmer, but the other day I found myself in the middle of a portuguese field counting 596 sheep. I work for the agricultural business, and my latest project involves sheep and cattle with RFID tags in their bellies. The system I work with reads signals from an antenna that detects when the animals pass.

    Quite a change from my previous job where I was making stock trading
  • I've a suggestion for companies like Infosys and others planning new RFID projects. If they want to track my shit, just make the chips edible.
  • What privacy are you attempting to salvage in a casino? Modern operations are among the most observed environments anywhere. As I tell my wife, this is the last place you are likely to get succesfully pickpocketed.
  • Think that these RFID tags could help bust the next group of people who try to outsmart Vegas []?

    • What do you want to bet that they've already managed to figure out a way around any algorithm implemented by the house that relies on these chips? I remember reading that article; those guys are very good at what they do. I doubt these RFID chips will slow them down at all.
  • Congressmen-

    Find out where they *really* go during "work" hours.
  • by pherris ( 314792 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:51PM (#7933283) Homepage Journal
    Casino chips are generally meant to stay in the casino while Gillette or Wal-Mart sell items that are meant to leave the store. In theory Wally World could embed a RFID in all the shoes they sell and then profit from the data gained by tracking you walking around their stores or places that would like to sell your RFID movement data. I don't see the same problem with casino chips. A business (or casino) has the right to watch you while you are on their property. I'll give them that but tracking me past that is unacceptable.

    RFIDs can be used for good. My Ford Focus ZTW has a RFID chip on the key. If the correct ID isn't there the car won't (and shouldn't atleast) start. Adding extra keys and programming them is a simple task too.

    IMO this shouldn't raise the same concern that the Wal-Mart problem does, which could be a real nightmare.

  • Casinos have always been a BASTION of personal privacy!

  • Casinos are already tracking your play. Being able to track an individual chip enhances their information flow.

    Those gamblers smart enough to play with a players card (slot club) so that they can earn comps and get a slight percentage higher in returns know that they're being tracked. Of course, it's easier to do so at the slot machines where the computers can determine your exact coin-in and convert that to a specific number of points to throw into your club account.

    At the tables, the casinos still t

  • by Mike Hawk ( 687615 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @05:56PM (#7933364) Journal
    File-sharing: Sure there are illegitimate uses for the technology, but there are a few legit uses. DON'T BAN IT.

    RFID: Sure there are a few legit uses for the technology, but there are illegitimate uses. BAN IT!
  • They work with probability in order to take your money, inotherwords, all games in a casino are in favor of the house winning as far as probability is conserned. Some people creat countermeasures and exploit the games and win millions from the casino's, and this is the reason why if you win too much too often or in any way show you're a little too lucky, you'll get banned from all casino's in las vegas and thrown onto their blacklist.

    So, am I suprised they'd use RFID? No, I'm frankly suprised they're s
    • You can't count cards, or attempt to use legitimate mean to gain information about cards to improve your bets. The odds for the games are set by the casinos and changed at their will. If you win too much you probably won't be allowed to play. Collecting RFID chip data on bettors in the casino is no worse than anything else the casinos do - it's another step to improve their bottom line at the expense of the people who (legally) are most likely to cost them money. There should be no expectation of fairness a
  • "Your Rights"? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gkuz ( 706134 )
    What rights do you have in a modern casino, exactly, other than the right to have them take your money from you? Cameras everywhere, those "bonus cards" or whatever they're called, plain-clothes security staff everywhere, your every move is watched fourteen different ways.

    I manage to avoid the surveillance problem and keep all my money by the simple expedient of not entering their establishment.

  • GOOD for them!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:00PM (#7933403) Journal
    OK, they're using RFID tags in their own property to at the very worst, track your behaviour while on their property.

    They're NOT putting these in items you buy, they're NOT using them to track you out the door, and they DO have a very real need to prevent counterfeits. There's increased security for them, and no invasion of privacy for their customers.

    Where's the problem here? Geez, between this and the "forged colour mars photos," it MUST be a slow news day.

    Oh, wait--both of these were posted by Michael. Interesting...
    • What are you talking about, no invasion of privacy? If Wal-Mart wanted to put an RFID tag on your forehead when you go through the entrance, so they could track every item you looked at, would you not feel invaded as long as they took it off when you left?

      And why do you think you'll only be tracked while on the casino property? Most people who go to Vegas stay there for several days, and keep their chips with them when they leave the casino for the night, until it's time to go home. They don't cash out

  • This is a reasonable use of RFID. Just like for warehouse inventory control, it's a technical means to reduce "friction" in the system. In this case, it's without real harm to anyone. (Except card counters, I suppose.)

    Harm is only likely when the tags get out the door of a monitored facility while intact and operational. Unlike razor blades in a market, chips are not intended to leave the premises of the casino. Cash 'em in, and you're clean.

    As others have pointed out, it's not like a person has any priva
  • by GrouchoMarx ( 153170 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:19PM (#7933603) Homepage
    Casino chips are not something that the casino sells to you. You borrow them as an alternate counting mechanism. Putting RFID tags on THEIR OWN PROPERTY that STAYS THEIR PROPERTY, and STAYS ON THEIR OWN PREMESIS to prevent theft is fine. I'd say the same about museums putting RFIDs on those portable audio players and headphones they give you to walk around exhbits with, or shopping carts at grocery stores. It's theirs, it stays theirs, it stays on premeisis, they have a right to protect themselves against theft.

    That is NOT the case if something is being actually sold to me. Ownership is changing hands at WalMart or wherever you shop, and I don't want something that is becoming MY property to come with auto-tracking mechanisms. If I want an auto-tracking system, I'll damn well install it myself.

    But at a casino, what is being sold is entertainment, not poker chips. The chips are on-premesis loaned use, and so tracking those against theft is perfectly legitimate. Ownership is not changing hands, so RFIDs are not infringing on my property or privacy rights.
  • if you can find a single place to stand in a casino's floor without being captured on at least one security camera (realistically it'll be more than one) i'll give ya a free pull on the slot of your choice. Privacy inside a casino, aside from the hotel rooms, is a non-issue. You voluntarily enter a casino knowing you're going to be watched via camera and floor personnel. Granted, we're talking privacy from the casino itself, and not from the government. When you go into a casino to play games, you are s
  • by RomulusNR ( 29439 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:25PM (#7933671) Homepage
    between RFIDs in something I OWN AND PAID FOR, and RFIDs in something that I AM ONLY BORROWING.

    Now, if casinos sell souvenir (poker) chips... hopefully those wont have active (rfid) chips in them.

    Hell, they should put RFIDs in rental DVD/VHS cases, so they can track down the bastard who hasn't returned that one copy of THX1138.

    Actually, inventory departments of companies might do well to RFID their equipment, especially with a wireless network full of floating laptops...
  • great idea, IMHO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_greywolf ( 311406 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:46PM (#7933844) Homepage

    in a case like this, this is an excellent use for RFID. protecting your own property by tracking the stuff that's yours using tags that you put in your own stuff is a perfect way to cut down on theft. in a casino, this is especially important. and having an RFID detector when people cash in makes for a good way to make sure the proper amount of money is redeemed.

    i still don't want these things in my jeans.
  • by nickovs ( 115935 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:02PM (#7933961)
    If all the casino chips have microchips inside them then the pick-pockets and muggers along the strip will be able to tell from a distance who has chips in their pockets and be able to home in on them! You can stand by the exit of the casino with a pocket RFID reader and when your PDA lets you know someone just walked by with $10,000 in chips in their pocket you can signal to your heavies down the street!
  • Tax Implications (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mad Browser ( 11442 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:22PM (#7934109) Homepage
    This could have interesting implications with the IRS.

    Right now casinos have to report you if you win $1200 or greater on a slot machine, hence the myriad of $1199 jackpots on slots.

    In table games they have no reporting requirement (save the $10,000 casino cage transaction report requirement), mostly due to the complexity of tracking wins vs. losses.

    If technology makes that simple, does that mean I'll now be taxed on my table game winnings? That the casino will be obligated to report them? Yikes.
  • Finally... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by qtp ( 461286 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:57PM (#7934389) Journal
    a situation where I think RFID is the Right Way To Do It(tm). If the casinos are using RFID to verify that the chips are actually thier chips before payout, and to prevent employees from walking out with stolen chips, then that's thier right and this seems a reasonably innocuous measure.

    I'm sure that there's lots of people who are crying "invasoon of privacy", etc, but this is one situation where you truly decided to play by thier rules when you walked through that door, and keeping track of thier own property is in no way an invasion of thier employees or thier customers privacy.

  • by mrmeval ( 662166 ) <<mrmeval> <at> <>> on Saturday January 10, 2004 @07:37AM (#7936941) Journal
    Come on! It's simple to construct a faraday cage to thwart this.

    Now who will be the new up and coming entreprenure who sells 'chip holders' for all those big spenders who want some privacy?

  • by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Saturday January 10, 2004 @03:17PM (#7938823)
    If people are walking around outside with casino chips, all a mugger will have to do is scan them to see which ones are worth the effort of a robbery. No more knocking over some old lady and just getting chump change.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."