Watermark Magnetics® Protection For The Gaming Industry
The term Cashless Gaming has been around a while. Much like the Paperless Office it is unlikely to become a reality. What is required, however, in modern gaming venues is a more cost effective mechanism for players to move from one machine to another and to cash out at the end of their game play session.
Gaming operators have been installing on-line machine monitoring and loyalty systems for years now. It is accepted that these systems are a critical tool in the professional management of a gaming machine installation.
Despite this tool providing good analysis and promotional incentives to players, it remains the case that if a player wants to change machines or cash out they have one of three options:-
A much better solution would be to set up an account on the central monitoring system which may be accessed via a secure card. Each machine would be fitted with a secure card reader.
Now when cancel credits is pressed, the credits are downloaded (via the network) to the central account against a record accessed by the secure card number. The player simply takes the card from one machine and enters in the next machine. When inserted into a machine's card reader, the system checks the account balance of that card number and transfers the credits from the central system to the gaming machines credit meter. The player then plays as normal. No down time, No frustration.
In the event that the account is out of credits, the player simply puts another bill in the bill acceptor or another coin in the slot. The card is used for portability and/or credit redemption.
The only requirement of the card is that it securely identify itself to the gaming network. There is no need to store the credits on the card because they reside on the central system. In fact, storing the value on the card is undesirable as it sets up a target for criminals.
The best card technology to meet these operating parameters is Watermark Magnetics. The Watermark Number is guaranteed unique and cannot be copied or erased. As the Watermark is a physical property of the tape and not an encoding it is impossible for enterprising students to hack it. The only way of breaking the system is to produce Watermark Magnetics tape. This is possible but the cost of setting up a plant and the difficulty of the process make it completely cost ineffective within the operating parameters of the gaming system architecture.
This is a truly simple solution which will add to the pleasure of gaming machine players and will substantially add to the profits of gaming machine operators.
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