“Don’t let Hollywood fool you, casinos aren’t as perfect as they want you to think,” those are the words on Matthieu Clas, CEO of HookMotion, upon dissecting how much of an issue unwanted behaviours are for land-based gaming establishments.

As technological advancements continuously evolve across numerous industries on a global scale, the company is looking to utilise the latest advancements in machine learning and computer vision technology to create profit maximising solutions for casinos. 

Here, Clas talks to CasinoBeats about the HookMotion operation, how much advancements in technology are driving innovation being brought to the casino floor, and what the future has in store.

CasinoBeats: Could you begin by talking our readers through HookMotion’s operation? Particularly focusing on your flagship TableMotion product?

At HookMotion, our main focus right now is bridging the gap between recent advancements in computer vision technology and the historically old-school gaming industry. We envision a casino floor where security cameras serve a much larger purpose than simply creating a video recording of their surroundings.

Rather, we see those cameras being used to their full potential in order to improve a casino’s capacity for yield management and game protection tenfold. 

At our core, we are a small team composed predominantly of world-class software developers who are working to optimise TableMotion, our flagship product. 

“Long gone are the days where mechanical goods or basic software … are considered innovative casino tech”

TableMotion is our answer to the industry’s outcry for a more accurate and efficient method of collecting table-game data and stopping unwanted table behaviours as they occur live.

Through seamless integration with existing casino surveillance cameras, TableMotion records, stores and generates reports on pertinent game data like a patrons skill level, position utilisation and betting habits while also providing live alerts to occurrences of fraud or error.

CB: How would you say that your product is currently being utilised?

TableMotion’s initial features are currently installed in multiple casinos. With access to new insights regarding their operations, our clients are able to see exactly how to push for new levels of optimisation on their gaming floor. Our side bet, dealer rating, and table-data tracking modules are already helping to optimise yield management across the globe. 

Beyond that, we work with our customers on developing a tailored solution to fit their needs and add as much value as possible to their operation. With production advancing daily, we progressively add more functionality and features that bring each client closer to their complete data-collection and game protection solution.

In return, we are able to study the results of every feature we add and adapt our operations accordingly. It’s truly a win-win scenario where we build and discover value through collaboration with our clients.  

CB: How much do you believe advancements in technology, particularly with regards to AI, are driving innovations being brought to the casino floor?

Nowadays, it seems that so many of the new innovations being brought to the casino floor either directly involve the use of AI technologies or were created by using insights generated through the use of Ai technologies.

“Don’t let Hollywood fool you, casinos aren’t as perfect as they want you to think”

Long gone are the days where mechanical goods or basic software (i.e. automatic card shufflers and excel spreadsheets) are considered innovative casino tech.

When you consider the quantitative nature of casino operations and the hundreds upon hundreds of security cameras that capture every inch of every table, it becomes clear why the data driven field of AI will have a resonating impact on the industry as a whole.

Due to these facts, we believe that casinos will be one of the institutions that stand to gain the most from advancements in AI technologies, particularly in the form of computer vision.

CB: You strive to automate the detection and alerts of unwanted behaviours like cheating and dealer errors, how much of an issue do you believe this is for land-based gaming establishments?

In our office, we have a saying: “Don’t let Hollywood fool you, casinos aren’t as perfect as they want you to think.” Although on the surface it may seem like casinos are experts at catching errors and ensuring near 100 per cent procedural efficiency, our research suggests otherwise. 

Most casinos are only catching around 10 per cent of the fraud and error plaguing their gaming floors. To be clear; It’s not their fault. They try their hardest to stay one step ahead, but there is only so much that they can do on their own.

In a game like Blackjack for example, it goes without saying that anything reducing the house’s already marginal edge and eating into profitability is a clear-cut issue. 

“Imagine having such a wide range of data that you knew each player’s preferred dealer”

Not only that, the time and effort spent catching fraud and resolving disputes can be saved and better spent elsewhere. By reducing workloads for surveillance and floor staff, they can focus less on maintaining operations and more on improving patron’s experiences.

In this sense, fraud and error creates an even more distinct issue. One where the focus is not only on the immediate issues at hand, but the negative externalities that come along with it. 

CB: Where do you believe the future of gaming technology is heading, both in terms of the industry in general and for yourselves?

Our opinion is that in order to maintain competitiveness with the rise of online gaming, land-based establishments are going to need to focus on heavily emphasising the aspects of the casino experience that can’t be replicated through an online platform.

Aspects like face to face interactions with staff, VIP patron rewards and the exuberant casino aesthetic will all rise in importance. With this in mind, it seems natural that the innovation of new technologies will be guided by this demand. 

For TableMotion specifically, this means continuously expanding on what types of data our software can collect and, beyond that, our capacity to contextualise the data into actionable strategies for optimising yield management and increasing patron satisfaction.

Our wildest dream is to have a database and analytics platform so robust that it can be used to tailor specific details of the casino to the exact specifications of the patrons inside. Imagine having such a wide range of data that you knew each player’s preferred dealer, and reconciled this with what days they’re most likely to visit your establishment.

Then, you could adjust your scheduling to optimize the chances that your player bases favourite dealers will be on shift when they arrive at the casino. The technology is a long way off, but we’re working as hard as we can.