Skip to content
Menu

RFID tables could give Macao authorities vast amounts of data

The amount of chips bought and bets placed are just some of the indicators that the government could have access to.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

The adoption by Macao’s gaming concessionaires of radio frequency identification (RFID) tables, or so-called smart gaming tables, could provide the government with access to gambling data at a level that was previously unimaginable, casino expert Ben Lee told TDM Portuguese News.  

“Every bet can be tracked back to the player,” said Lee, who is the managing partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting. 

“You buy in 100,000 dollars worth of chips, they [the casino operators] will know how much you bought, where you played, how many bets you made, how much per bet and if you were to pass your chips to somebody else, they will know that as well. ” 

The gaming analyst noted that the government could ask the concessionaires to hand over such data, which could enable monitoring of specific individuals, groups or transactions. 

[See more: RFID tables will soon be standard at casinos in Macao: report]

Lee said that many players fail to grasp the privacy issues inherent in RFID technology, as they believed that smart chips were merely about enhancing the accuracy of payments. He added that the focus of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (also known by its Portuguese initials DIJC) was on tracking gamblers, rather than increasing efficiency. 

Despite the privacy concerns, Lee mentioned that the technology can improve accuracy, reducing the likelihood of under and overpayment.

First introduced to casinos in 2014, RFID chips and tables are being used by operators to monitor cheating and heighten productivity.

Despite the initial implementation of smart chips and tables by MGM China in 2016, followed by Sands China’s adoption of the same technology, the incorporation of such advancements have been slow in Macao. This year, however, other concessionaires, including Galaxy Entertainment Group, Melco Resorts and SJM, announced plans to roll out the technology on their casino floors, with Wynn Macau reportedly considering introducing it in the near future.

Correction, 27 March 2024: The original version of this article misstated the Macao casinos that use RFID technology. This has been updated.