NRT’s Quick Table promises to revolutionise casino player buy ins
Every time a casino player has to convert cash to gambling credit and gambling credit into cash, it creates a challenge for the casino operator.
The challenge is that the process involves a certain amount of time and effort (possibly lining up at the cage or rummaging around in a wallet for an unrumpled bank note). That can create a disincentive for the customer and a barrier preventing the operator from getting access to the full economic potential of that player. A similar barrier is created for players who start their casino visit by playing slots and then want to move to the tables. At present, they must take their slot issued TITO (ticket-in, ticket-out) voucher and either go to an automated kiosk and convert it to cash and then buy chips at the table, or take the TITO ticket to the cage and pick up chips there.
NRT Technology Corp, a Canada-based company, is already helping to smooth the cash-credit conversion process via its QuickJack™ kiosks. These high specification automated service machines allow casino players to cash out TITO tickets or make cash withdrawals without the inconvenience of waiting at the cage. Now NRT has taken important steps toward a truly cashless gaming floor with a concept that marries the convenience of the payment kiosk process with the seamlessness of ticket-in, ticket-out play.
The Quick Table™ is still in the development stage, but it offers a real breakthrough, says Art Ayow, NRT’s Vice President of Sales–International Gaming, Lotteries & Banking.
“The Quick Table we displayed at G2E Asia is the first time an integrated table system has been demonstrated anywhere in the world. What we have done essentially is to adapt many of the value added and key attributes of the kiosks into this product. So, for example, the bill validator we use on the Quick Table is the same as the one in the kiosk,” he explains.
Quick Table in effect combines the payment interface functions of the kiosk and of a slot machine. Quick Table has a bill and ticket validator and a ticket printer allowing players to cash in directly at the table or pay for their chips via a TITO ticket they have brought to the table. The technology is integrated into the table, rather than being retrofitted as a mobile unit. The latter option is still being investigated. However, it requires adaptation into an existing table and product compliance is still outstanding, says Mr Ayow.
“We came up with the ‘fully integrated table concept’ for Asia about six months ago, in partnership with JCM,” he states.
“For the first time, it allows a casino client who plays slot machines to go straight over to a table and play there without needing to cash their slot TITO ticket either at the kiosk or the cage. Today, the Quick Table accepts tickets or cash. In the future, it will be able to accept smart cards.”
While there may not currently be much crossover of slot players to tables and vice versa, NRT believes that Quick Table offers multiple benefits for players and operators alike.
“The benefit is not just the cross pollination—the key benefits of Quick Table is chip retention at the table, better real-time reporting of cash holdings and improved systems management ,” states Art Ayow.
“The casinos pay a very high price when people walk away from the tables with chips in their hands. The casinos have to replenish the chips. They lose track of those chips. When they leave the Quick Table, they will get a ticket, which they can cash or keep for future use. And from the property’s perspective, instead of having the dealer count the chips and pay the cash, the dealer’s already been able to deal another hand.”
Another advantage of Quick Table’s TITO capability is to detect counterfeit bills at the table.
“When a dealer is counting cash, he or she has no way of identifying what is counterfeit. With our product, he has that option because Quick Table has a bill validator,” points out Mr Ayow.
“It slows down the process a little bit, but it depends on what the casino operator wants to do. Does he want to hold up the game? Does he want to send a message to security to say, ‘Hey, we have a guy here who’s brought in a stack of 50 bills and five of them are counterfeit’? Or does he want to process the game and allow security time to deal with the situation? Quick Table offers that flexibility.”
The processing power of the Quick Table is run by the same CHS™ (Cash Handling System) software that powers NRT’s automated kiosks. That means the Quick Table’s cash and TITO handling capability meets international banking standards as well as the regulatory requirements of the major gaming jurisdictions.
A handle on handle
“But our cash handling system gives them a much better chance of knowing precisely the handle. In fact, it’s so accurate it could save them the trouble of having to do a recount back in the cash room.”
NRT is confident that once the Quick Table concept is fully developed, it could be sold directly to new casino properties as the next generation solution for cash handling at tableside.
“We think we could sell it straight into a new casino. And if we make the value proposition attractive enough, it could be a replacement option in an existing casino. We’re very excited about its potential,” says Mr Ayow.