By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer
If you’re not in the casino industry, the title of this post may be meaningless, but for casino managers, “sharks” are the bad guys and “whales” are the good guys. Sharks are people who try to defraud the casino through illegal activities, while whales are the high rollers who are apt to win $20,000 one trip and lost $25,000 the next. If there’s any environment where you’d be motivated as a businessperson to know as much as you can about who you’re dealing with, it’s a casino.
What can an ideal identity resolution system do for a casino manager? From the moment of check-in, the system identifies the whales and sharks. Unbeknownst to the hospitality clerk, the attributes of the person checking in are compared real time against computerized lists of bad guys and good guys. The shark lists include known card counters, chip stealers, and other types of troublesome guests and fraudsters.
When a match is found as the suspected fraudster checks in, a text alert is sent immediately to a security room. Then a plainclothes hotel security staffer quietly pulls the person of interest aside, confirms who they are, and informs them that they aren’t welcome and should leave immediately. The identity resolution system also monitors other points of interaction (e.g., credit cards) in the casino.
Whales are similarly detected at entry points into the casino, but once detected, they get the “red carpet” treatment instead of a red flag. Alerts are sent to the appropriate people, including those running the whale’s favorite tables.
The identity resolution system also detects the whale’s friends and relatives to ensure that they are likewise handled with care. Without the system in place, unfortunate incidents can happen. For example, a whale’s wife or girlfriend may be refused some request because the server doesn’t realize who she’s related to. It’s not good business to let even one incident like that happen!
Implementing an identity resolution system can help any enterprise get a better handle on its business. Consultant and blogger Jim George documented what he calls “the 6 R’s” about knowing who’s whom in a casino environment:
- Resolve – Is Jane Smith also Jane Brown and/or Jane Brown-Smythe?
- Research – What is known about her? Is she a known criminal? Card counter?
- Relate – Who is she related to and how? Is she Gotti’s limo driver or the wife of a wealthy high rolling CEO?
- Recognize – At the check-in counter, out on the casino floor, over the phone, on the Internet site, at the cage, etc.
- Respond – All the above is wasted without the capability to differentiate the appropriate response by the casino.
- Recover – If all else fails, do we have all of the information to make a recovery or support an arrest?
If you’re investigating identity resolution, you’re in the right place. That’s all we talk about here.
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