eConnect’s technology geared to meet needs of gaming industry

February 4, 2024 7:11 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
February 4, 2024 7:11 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States

It would be easy for eConnect Global to sell its technology to a wide spectrum of businesses. But the Las Vegas-based provider of intelligent software concentrates on what it knows best: the gaming industry.

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“That’s a big advantage,” said eConnect President and CEO Henry Valentino during a conversation with CDC Gaming Reports. “Everyone else is trying to sell their services, their facial-recognition technology, to the government, to the Department of Justice, to police, to jails, to the world. eConnect is working only with casinos and that’s a big deal. There are all these unique interfaces to the camera systems, the video systems, and data and loyalty systems.

“All of those are unique to gaming, and you want to deal with a trusted vendor in that way.”

eConnect’s technology is currently used in more than 350 casinos around the world. It also provides services to suppliers to the industry, such as Aristocrat, IGT, Konami, and Light & Wonder. When eConnect services a company, its personnel visit properties. eConnect is certified in all jurisdictions where casinos operate.

“Most of our competitors don’t do that,” Valentino said of the visits. “They typically operate through integrators, and those integrators don’t know the products. That’s a big differentiator for us.”

eConnect’s focus sharply contrasts with competitors that broadly apply facial recognition across various industries. The specialization in the gaming sector ensures tailored solutions finely tuned to casino-specific needs, distinguishing eConnect from other tech providers in the market.

Operators are increasingly installing eConnect’s facial-recognition technology to assist with safety, security, and customer satisfaction in casinos. The facial recogware services range from assisting with anti-money laundering procedures to the identification of VIP customers. The technology also can be used to help operators adhere to regulatory mandates.

“Casinos, in term of FinCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), are really more like banks than any other type of institution,” Valentino says. “So casinos face a lot of requirements that banks have, from know your customer (KYC) to reporting transactions over certain dollar amounts. eConnect comes along and offers products that make your surveillance system smart, basically putting some AI into those cameras. … We have an area of expertise that no one else really has.”

For suppliers such as Aristocrat and IGT, eConnect’s software acts as middleware back to data sources. Noting that most casinos use casino-management and video-surveillance systems, Valentino said that often those systems aren’t aligned and work independently of each other.

“With eConnect, we synchronize and align that,” he says. “If you sit down at a table and start a rating at 10 a.m., and I’m looking at the camera and see somebody bought in for a large amount, with the eConnect software, we would know that large amount was $10,000, because the pit boss entered it. And you would also know that’s player Henry Valentino, I’ve got his players card, and he’s in the five-star group.”

eConnect’s facial-recognition software is adaptable to properties of varying sizes and needs, from bustling casinos on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas with thousands of cameras to smaller tribal properties in Arizona or California.

Beyond identifying VIPs and problematic individuals, eConnect bolsters security with its License Plate Recognition technology. This LPR technology complements facial recognition for full-scale surveillance and is especially effective at property entrances and in parking areas.

Embodying a philosophy of delivering comprehensive high-quality solutions, eConnect offers site licenses, enabling properties to fully utilize all surveillance tools without the burden of incremental costs. This approach reflects eConnect’s commitment to providing complete top-tier security, akin to offering a fully operational “security Cadillac,” rather than piecemeal services.