The gambling industry has been engaged in debates recently regarding cost maintenance and hiring live casino dealers in both online and real-world casinos. During the discussion, the idea of using robot dealers was also discussed.

A lot of people in the industry think that this is an ideal solution to the ever-increasing expense of casino workers, especially the dealers. However, a lot of casino goers are not as excited about the idea of robots dealing the cards for them. They still prefer the human touch. 

Such sentiments show that automation, specifically robot technology, won’t be part of the industry anytime soon. However, there are still people within the industry who are making moves to incorporate robots into everyday reality slowly. It’s not surprising, observers say, considering the amount of money that goes into hiring, training, and paying the salary of casino dealers. 


Robot Workers – Already a Reality

It might come as a surprise to many, but the shipping industry has been incorporating robot workers in their operations.  For example, Royal Caribbeandeal ships have a robot bartender in their bar making cocktails and mixing drinks for customers while doing a mini song and dance number to entertain them. 

Called the Tipsy Robot, it has now been introduced in Las Vegas as well. This step is just probably the beginning of introducing robotic workers in the gambling industry. If it’s a success, it is likely that robotic dealers are well on their way in the gaming halls of casinos.   

Welcome the Robot Dealer 

During the G2E (Global Gaming Expo) in Asia in 2017, leaders in the industry discussed developments and changes in the future. They also considered the salary of casino dealers as well as cost-effective alternatives to it. Aside from that, they also discussed some table games in the markets could feature automated betting and human dealers to settle bets.

Meanwhile, several manufacturers are experimenting in automated robot-dealing arms, but the gambling industry market is still divided in their opinions. While they are open to the idea of using robots in certain table games, they are still in doubt if robotic croupiers will be as efficient and effective as their human counterparts. 

For example, Chinese dealers love the challenge of outdoing live dealers in controlling the game. This kind of ‘connection’ will surely be missing if players will deal with robots. Surely the game will not be the same anymore. 


What Happens to Recreation?

The reason a lot of people are attracted to casinos is not only about the high price at stake on the tables. It is also about the recreational element of the game, especially the euphoric feeling a player feels when trying to outdo live croupiers. What happens if robots take control of the tables? Will players still experience the fun and the challenge they feel with human interaction?

Another reason why human dealers are much better than robots is their sensitivity to the players. Live croupiers will ask players if they want more cards or not or they are ready to show their cards. There is also the element of banter between players and dealers making the atmosphere livelier and bearable. Plus, live dealers acknowledge patrons by their names and provide ‘encouragement’ to the losers and newbies – a connection that might be gone as well if robots replace humans on the tables.

 Is the Gambling Market Ready for Robot Technology?

Yes, robots are already present in some areas of the gambling industry, but the questions are still asked whether or not the industry can fully embrace the new technology. 

At the moment, the casino industry is unlikely to embrace it in the context of wholesale format. It is also not clear whether the economics for robotic dealers are already in place. Although robotic dealers might not be able to replace humans, they can be a useful stand-in for live dealers temporarily. 

The idea of live dealers manning the table for certain times of the day while a virtual dealer takes over after hours or during less busy periods. This can surely lessen the cost of the casinos. It is also a reasonable compromise to the players. 

On top of all these, safety should also be considered since the technology can be hacked or misuse. This can cause some problems in the industry; thus, utmost care is needed when developing the software to guarantee its safety and invincibility.


How Will Human Players Feel about a Robot Dealer?

Although we humans have a great interest in robots, there is still the feeling of discomfort when we think of them being a part of our daily lives. Indeed, there’s been a lot of ruckuses when the discussion regarding robots taking over our jobs was raised. Then, it’s also a bit creepy to see robots who are almost human-like in form.  However, new players find comfort in interacting with robots because it is less humiliating for them if they make a mistake during the game. 

With all the discussions going on, the casino industry is still at the crossroads whether they are going to incorporate robotic technology or not. Although they welcome the idea of robot dealers, that change will mostly not happen overnight but in a distant future. Indeed, it will still take a long time before robots dealing cards and replicant roulettes become a common sight in casinos. And this is good news for casino dealers – at least, for now.   

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