Hong Kong-based gaming machine manufacturer and supplier Paradise Entertainment Ltd. is offering innovative card dealer robots to US and other land-based casinos worldwide.
Their card dealer robot prototype named "Min" made her first debut and has impressed a lot of people at a Macau gaming show just this November 2015. Now, she and her clones are making their entry to the United States, where labor costs in land-based casinos are absolutely much higher as compared to Asia as well as in areas where humans are not allowed to work as croupiers.
"Min" is described to be a slender brunette, having an hourglass figure and a friendly yet poker-faced expression.
Even if her function is limited to dealing cards for now, according to the chairman of Paradise Entertainment Ltd. Jay Chun, they are planning to introduce upgrades to "Min" that could give her the ability to recognise the faces of customers, greet them by name, and most importantly, communicate with everyone in multiple languages.
Chun stated, "We are currently talking to overseas buyers but I can't reveal how much each product would cost at this time. We are the first gambling equipment manufacturer in the world that produces a human-like robotic dealer."
These humanoid robot dealers are actually expected to be successful in the United States, where gambling players are known to be more willing to exchange human interaction for fast game play and to reduce the feeling of embarrassment should they make simple errors. However, the concept of having a robot instead of a human dealer may not be very appealing for gamblers in Macau, Asia's gaming hub.
Carlos Siu, associate professor at the gaming teaching and research centre of the Macao Polytechnic Institute, stated that, "Asian customers are more inclined to gamble in a noisy and crowded environment, preferring to banter with dealers and fellow gamblers than sit in front of a machine that provides little or no engagement. Gamblers often slam the table and shout loudly to pump up the mood. I'm not sure if robotic dealers can tap into the gamblers' psychology correctly and give an appropriate response."
Even so, Hanson Robotics have actually sold to an anonymous Macau-based casino in the past a fairly similar rival product which can interact with others and make facial expressions.
If you are one of those who think that "Min" looks sort of creepy now, as of the moment, Paradise Entertainment is aiming to make their robots more life-like.