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Vodka Tonic, Hold The RFID Chip

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 10th April 2008 12:36am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 1


RFID isn't just for dogs, casino chips, waitresses and overpriced slacks anymore.

Casino megaoperator MGMMirage (Mirage, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio etc) has begun embedding RFID chips (radio frequency identification) into the spout of liquor bottles in the hopes of curtailing the not so secret practice of 'healthy tip = healthy pour' which has been a part of barkeeping since barkeeping and tipping have co-existed.

The RFID chips 'read' the amount of liquor flowing through them and send the information to a point of sale information system wirelessly which would then compare the bars tab tally and cash drop to the amount of liquor poured. Very probably, the RFID will read the RFID chip embedded in the nearest bartenders name tag, thereby tagging that bartender in the given flows database insert. Oh, and that players club card or hotel room key? They'll have RFID chips in em too, and you could very possibly get sent a bill for the extra booze you got served. (An extreme example.)

When all of the number crunching is done, MGMMirage - and most likely other companies interested in trimming the corners of your good time - will know which bartenders add more Gin to the Juice than others, cross reference the shifts tip tally, peep the video surveillance and either fix or fire the leaky bartenders.

One can only guess that MGMMirage and others hot on employing this technology see big enough value in saving a finger or two of scotch every few hours. No doubt those lost fingers add up when serving a virtual flood of booze at a dozen or so casinos world wide.

That being said, I'm reminded of two of the more famous quotes from Casino, a movie most Vegas nuts never seem to tire of.

Ace Rothstein: In Vegas, everybody's gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I'm watching the casino manager. And the eye-in-the-sky is watching us all.

In the name of progress, we can tack RFID chips to the tail end of Rothstein's soliloquy on surveillance. Every breath you take, every drink you take, every bet you make, is now being inserted into a gigantic database.

Ace Rothstein:The town will never be the same. After the Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. Today it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior's college money on the poker slots. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it's like checkin' into an airport. And if you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it's all gone. You get a whale show up with four million in a suitcase, and some twenty-five-year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his Social Security Number.

With 'non-gaming' revenue, and alcohol sales in particular, adding huuuuge profits to the bottom line of most casinos (Steve Wynn gloated on The Strip Podcast that Blush Wynn took in $28M bucks during a recent accounting period) it was only a matter of time before the resorts enacted the same technology they use to protect gaming revenue to protecting non-gaming revenue.

Its understandable for a corporation to try and squeeze out as much profit as it can, that is after all the point of being in business. I'm compelled to wonder if the Ouroboros Mega Resort Hotel & Casino will, as its nature, eat its customers, its employees, and in turn itself.



Comments & Discussion:

so does this same pour technology force the casinos to add a full shot's worth of alcohol to the free drinks you get while gambl...er, "gaming"?

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