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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Security measures protect both players and casino owners

28 February 2007

The expansion of gaming both nationally and internationally has created opportunities for companies that specialize in protecting consumers and business owners from forgery and fraud.

Casino business revolves around transactions involving not only currency but also paper and plastic instruments that have cash value. It is fertile ground for the unscrupulous to look for ways to cheat the system.

Document Security Systems, Inc. (DSS), which specializes in protection against counterfeiting, is one such company expanding its horizons. It is customizing the technology it has used so successfully within the worlds of business and finance and has begun marketing it within the casino industry.

DSS president Peter Ettinger, claiming that counterfeit losses are estimated worldwide at $250 billion, says: "We believe that if you can make it you can probably fake it, and if it's got value somebody's going to try and copy it."

That philosophy makes casinos a prime target for illegal practices. Currency, coupons and vouchers are passed throughout properties nationwide. Plastic products such as player's club cards and hotel room keys are also common components of day-to-day casino activity.

"If your basic paper or plastic product is not secure, then no other part of that product is as secure as it should be," Ettinger maintains.

Copiers, scanners, home computers and digital imaging have made the work of forgers and counterfeiters easier.

Cognizant of the fact that even the unscrupulous can replicate bar codes, DDS creates ink-on-paper solutions that prevent any negotiable instrument, including coupons and vouchers, from being copied, scanned or duplicated.

The gambling industry will even begin deploying advanced document security measures that are commonplace in financial circles and other cash-driven enterprises.

One of the company's patented products, AuthentiGuard Phantom, is an example of the technological advances the casino owners will embrace to preserve the integrity of player's cards, plastic room keys, even gaming chips. It involves a new level and class of optical variable technology (OVT) which reveals a ghosted message discernible to the naked eye when tilted at a certain angle to assure authenticity.

Other areas being explored apply to the gaming industry's emphasis on hospitality, principle among them hotel complexes, which generally are not subject to the extraordinary security measures taken on casino gaming floors.

"Typically you must present your room key when you go past a guard in a casino hotel lobby," Ettinger said. "There's nothing to determine if it's really the right key and the right person."

Rapid verification of documents and plastic cards to confirm authenticity quickly and easily will become a gaming industry priority as business expands in the United States and internationally.

Bar code data collection, cashless card systems, ticketing, and slot tracking systems are among the technologies that make the casino world go 'round. If they're not secure, everyone shares in the losses that result.

CASINO NEWS: Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel is featuring an ultimate "Stay & Play" package available on a limited basis Sunday through Thursday. The package includes one night accommodations in the property's luxury hotel, upgraded VIP amenities and turndown service, dinner for two valued up to $100 at Mosaic or The Reserve, $50 credit in the new Destinations Gift Shop, breakfast buffet for two and morning paper delivery for $229. Call 1-800-HARRAHS for information.

Texas Hold'em fans should know that among the regularly scheduled poker tournaments held weekly in the Majestic Star II's live poker room is a very affordable one that players with a desire to experience tournament play should check out. The "Freeze-Out" tournament held at Noon on Sundays features a registration fee of $15 and a buy-in of $65. Registration starts at 10 am. For additional information call the Majestic Star's poker room directly at 219-977-7444.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp