California Casino Owners Eye Innovations

16 January 2001

PALM SPRINGS, California -- Jan. 16, 2001 -- As reported by the California Desert Sun: "On one side of the room, tribal leaders, casino officials and curiosity seekers crowd around an electronic blackjack table.

"...In between, casino operators wander the trade show floor of the Western Indian Gaming Conference at the Palm Springs Convention Center, mentally reviewing the balance of high-tech gadgets and classic table games on their own gaming floors.

"The lure of increased automation is obvious to casino owners.

"Electronic dealing is faster, more secure and cheaper because it eliminates card costs, time-sucking shuffling and dealer error.

"`You can see the trend starting toward digital games,' said R. Glenn Casale, director of table games at Fantasy Springs Casino on the reservation of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians near Indio.

"...Fantasy Springs will be the first casino in the desert to offer digital blackjack, but only at one table.

"Only seven casinos nationwide are using the technology now, but others are expected to follow suit, said Bill O'Hara of PDS Gaming of Las Vegas, the company that makes the digital card game. He estimates digital blackjack can increase the number of hands dealt in an hour up to 75 percent.

"...Despite its novelty value and obvious potential, no one expects virtual blackjack to replace real cards and the people who deal them -- at least not for awhile..."

Related Links
Western Indian Gaming Conference (WIGC) 2001