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Your Odds At Gambling Just Got Worse

It just got much more difficult for professional gamblers to beat casinos due to new technology. This week's Circuits section of the New York Times has a piece about how casinos are using new electronic surveillance techniques to keep tabs on which players are doing well and which ones aren't The new system maintains a level of vigilance that no human can match. It takes notice when a particular gambler alone at a table is playing 120 hands an hour at a 1.5 percent disadvantage (in other words, fast and poorly), recognizing that he is more valuable to the house than another player who bets slowly and skillfully. The pit manager can call up this information on a tablet PC; he can monitor any game in real time and can calculate a gambler's statistics for the last hour, the last 30 days or since the day the player's casino account was opened. The technology can also spot card counters, whose tactic of periodically raising their bets for no apparent reason would eventually prompt the system to alert the manager.

New York Times March 25, 2004

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