Casino system for gamblers to set limits
SkyCity has completed a multimillion-dollar overhaul of its computer systems that will pave the way for loyalty card members to set limits on their gambling losses.
The investment may also help the casino to sell extra services.
Chief information officer Mike Clarke said that this week SkyCity Queenstown was the last of its five casinos to switch to the new technology supplied by United States firm Hewlett-Packard.
The investment will let SkyCity display personalised messages on its gaming machines, warning guests, for example, if they have exceeded self-set spending limits.
SkyCity has promised the Internal Affairs Department that it will implement the safety feature, known as "pre-commitment" by the end of year.
"The idea is a player can manage their time or spend on a device by putting in some limits and then the system will look after that for them and send them alerts," Clarke said.
He said pre-commitment had been a big issue that had perhaps attained "disproportionate" attention in Australia.
Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Graeme Ramsey said in April that evidence suggested such "voluntary" systems were ineffective.
"Voluntary pre-commitment is not going to help a high-risk gambler as they don't have to use it."
Clarke acknowledged there was nothing to stop guests from removing their loyalty cards and continuing to gamble anonymously.
"It is not a panacea. It is one of a number of steps that we have got to help address [problem gambling]."
The new technology could also be used to communicate special offers and let customers undertake other transactions from gaming machines and kiosks, he said.
‘‘Over time they will be able to do more things to interact; everything from ordering a drink through to making a booking at a restaurant. All of those things will be possible through that interface.’’ Sky City would gradually roll-out the new features so as not to overwhelm its customers, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News