G2E comes strong for Las Vegas

G2E comes strong for Las Vegas

October 10, 2017 3:09 AM


The Global Gaming Expo (G2E), the industry’s premier gathering of all things gaming, went on as scheduled last week in spite of the horrific tragedy that took place on the Strip the night before it was to begin.

With representatives of the industry from around the globe here in one place, Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, in a statement released the day after the tragedy, encouraged attendance at the sessions that would address timely topics, noting, “One way we can begin to recover is by uniting as an industry… G2E is an opportunity to learn, unite and empower our industry to be smarter and stronger.”

One of the highlights was Earvin “Magic” Johnson giving a keynote address on closing day and noting that the “landscape is changing,” hinting at the coming of legalized sports betting on a national level.

Indeed, sports betting was front and center this year as there were numerous sessions devoted to various aspects of it along with other sessions that explored eSports and iGaming.

But we looked past the big buzz this year and noted something very interesting at the Shark Trap Gaming & Security Systems booth. It was a shuffling machine. Yes, one of those gadgets that shuffles the cards for games like blackjack, baccarat and poker.

However, this is no ordinary shuffler. It is a very high tech piece of equipment that will hit the market in 2018. It offers a table-game platform that promises to increase productivity, reduce card costs, and attain never-before-realized levels of game protection.

What kind of protection? Good question. Called the Shark Trap System, the platform features a network of super shufflers with the capability to detect marked cards, asymmetries, normal wear and tear, and much more, all in real time, according to the Shark Trap team.

Now that is interesting. Do you remember the incident about five years ago with Phil Ivey winning nearly $10 million playing baccarat at the Borgata in Atlantic City? His system relied on edge sorting, which took advantage of asymmetries in the cards. Once the casino figured it out, they filed a lawsuit and ultimately the courts agreed Ivey needed to repay his winnings, although they did not classify it as cheating.

If this shuffler had existed back then it’s possible there would never have been an incident at all, as the casino would have been made aware of the situation early-on and could have taken corrective action. Think of all the headaches, legal expenses and negative publicity for both sides that could have been avoided.

So, how did Shark Trap come up with such an ingenious machine? Well, originally they collaborated with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Department of Mechanical Engineering to design and build the early prototypes.

“UNLV has done an exceptional job getting us to the point where our one- and two-deck shufflers are ready for manufacturing,” said Lou DeGregorio, president of Shark Trap.

“The initial response from casinos and cardrooms has been overwhelming,” he added. “And now that we’re aligned with the country’s preeminent firms specializing in computer vision, software development, design, and manufacturing, together with our management team and consultants, the vision is about to become a reality!”

If the DeGregorio name sounds familiar, it should. Lou has been involved in the gaming industry since his days at Paul-Son Gaming Supplies in the early 1970s. In 1991 he formed DP Stud, which gave us the very popular Caribbean Stud, along with No Commission Baccarat and Progressive Pai Gow Poker.

About two years ago Lou joined the Shark Trap team, managing day-to-day operations, overseeing the ongoing development of ST’s product line and technologies, and providing the guidance for the introduction of this revolutionary platform in table-game security. He is assisted by his son, Dino DeGregorio, ST’s secretary and treasurer.

Yes, no doubt about it, the Shark Trap team in on the cutting edge. This simple looking little shuffler is a game changer that provides modern solutions to age-old problems. Shuffle up!

See you around town.