Google Glass isn’t even on the shelves yet and it’s being banned from all sorts of places. It was reported towards the end of last year that the “wearable tech”, which incorporates a tiny screen and camera connected to the internet, was already unwelcome at some casinos in the USA. Is this a knee-jerk reaction to a genuinely exciting, even revolutionary new technology? Is it maybe a fantastic bit of PR?
For a piece of kit that only a tiny percentage of humanity has actually tried, a whole lot of people seem to have an opinion about it. Google Glass certainly does have implications for casinos and their patrons, both negative and positive, so if you manage to get your hands on a pair you might be better off testing those capabilities somewhere like Gaming Club online casino first.
In New Jersey, the ban is official. The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement has ordered all 12 casinos under its jurisdiction to stop gamblers wearing Glass. Various other states have followed suit, including Nevada, meaning that casinos in Las Vegas (and Reno) won’t allow the device.
The argument is that Glass could allow, say, poker players to cheat. It’s not entirely clear how that cheating would work, but it’s possible that two individuals, one of whom is playing and one of whom is watching the game, could communicate regarding other players’ hands. It’s even possible that the screen could display information on an opponent, which could be seen as gaining an unfair advantage.
It’s also conceivable that Glass could be used by blackjack players for card-counting. The possibilities of the device are so wide-ranging that it’s understandable if casino owners in particular have a problem with it.
Perhaps the way to look at the issue is by thinking about etiquette. Each new technology – mobile phones for example – has brought up questions about how to behave while using it. Clearly, a lot of people don’t want to be filmed inside a casino (or a hospital, or a strip club.) Google Glass can film people, therefore it’s a problem. In any case, video cameras are already banned from casinos.
Shock Of The New
The bannings may seem to have arrived early, but the devices have been on the streets in limited numbers since the middle of 2012, so anybody who’s nervous about the potential uses and abuses of Glass has had plenty of time to worry. The reaction of the casinos can be seen as a microcosm of how the rest of society is likely to view these new devices.