PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Gaming Partners International
GPI: RFID Gaming Chips and Readers
Gaming Partners International Corporation is the result of the merger of Bourgogne et Grasset, The Bud Jones Company and Paul-Son Gaming Supplies, Inc under the leadership of B&G. . Over the last ten years B&G™ has developed the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) chip technology that is offered today by all brands of GPI® USA.
Fotos de la Noticia
The group concentrates on products that are very sensitive to casinos, particularly chips and plaques but also dice, wheels, cards and associated products such as layouts and gaming tables. GPI is the developer and the manufacturer of these products and generally does direct sales to legal casinos all over the world. GPI is the casinos partner and advises its client on the best choices to make to ensure security, reliability and quality.
Chips are very much like banknotes but often with a much higher face value. A chip that looks or feels or even sounds a little different triggers checking. There are several possible security features in the material itself, and/or in the décor. The most sophisticated anti-counterfeiting device are the microchips or RFID, which can be embedded in gaming chips without modifying the other characteristics of the chips so that dealers and players can handle them as usual. All gaming chips supplied by GPI® USA can come with an embedded microchip. They are called Safechip by Bourgogne et Grasset® for B&G chips, jetons and plaques, Smartchip™ for Bud Jones chips and Chipsoft™ for Paulson chips.
The RFID chips can be read with 100% accuracy one at a time or much more, with the same efficiency, in stacks, boxes, trays or on the tables with the readers made by GPI® SAS. With proper computer programs (available from specialized licensed companies such as MCC or Mikohn or developed by the casinos' Information Technologies departments) the information collected by the readers can be entered, accounted for and processed automatically by the casino computer systems. This opens the way to unprecedented and unmatched ways to improve the security and the cost efficiency of the casino table management information systems and to bring them to the same level as the slots systems.
GPI® USA uses a standard microchip made by Philips adapted to the particular casino applications requirements and called Vegas S. The microchip Vegas S has a read and write memory size of 256 bits and has several sections that can be configured to meet casino applications. Key data such as casino names and chip values are entered and sealed into the memory of the microchip. They become read only. Nobody can change them. This greatly increases the security of the chips but also the security of their production, transportation and utilization. More information such as chip specs, validation date, type of chip or any other code can be entered when the chips are originally programmed or later by the client in the memory space available for the casino.
Chip memory programming is the last operation after the final quality inspections so that only good chips are programmed and saved in a database. All three brands use the same microchip. The protocol of dialog between the readers and the computer is provided. Each microchip has its own unique identification number “burned in” by Philips. All ID numbers are gathered in a database for each client by GPI® USA. The microchip also has a sophisticated antenna, which enables the chip to communicate information to readers without contact. The longevity is the same as regular chips since there is no battery involved. The unique aspect is that the microchips support a special anti-collision algorithm that allows the reading of stacks of different chips very rapidly.
The RFID process:
Readers are necessary to communicate with the RFID chips. The GPI SAS readers are custom made for each casino and contain an antenna, a Common Reading Unit, a power supply and connecting cables. Communication between
the microchips and the readers is as follows:
Triggered by an input instruction, a C.P.U. makes the reader board generate electronic signals that go to the reader antenna to create an electromagnetic field. The embedded antenna of each RFID chip picks up this field and transforms it into energy to activate its integrated circuits. Readers and chips can then exchange information using radio frequency waves. Data (unique serial number, chip value...) can be finally processed or fed in a database. This process provides automatic and 100% accurate accounting of the chips.
All chip movements and transactions can be followed on the table, from the table to the back office, and from the pit boss to the cashier. Inventory of chips in the vault, at the cage and at the pit boss's desk takes considerably less time. Opening and closing floats can be read in a few seconds. GPI® USA readers can read from several chips or a stack of 20 chips up to a Blackjack tray float of 600, and can identify and record 100 different gaming chips in 7 seconds.