For years now, Hollywood has been churning out blockbusters about doing one thing that people have dreamed of doing: beating the house in Las Vegas. One of the best ways to do this (without robbing the place, like in the Oceans Trilogy) is to count cards, which means that the would-be gambler works out the probability, which stacks the odds in his/her favour.
One of the best examples of this is the 2008 movie 21, which starred Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne. It focused on a gifted MIT student who needs hundreds of thousands of dollars to do Medicine at Harvard, and uses his math gift to work with a team of card counters, and trouble is never far away. I won’t tell you how it ends, but as the saying goes, the house always wins.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, recently one of the most famous Casinos in Vegas, Caesar’s Palace, banned Google Glass (even though the only people who’ll have them for a while are the ‘Glass Explorers’ (developers) and the #ifihadglass winners on Twitter and Google+. The ban itself isn’t a big surprise. I’d say the only reason they haven’t banned smartphones is because so many of their customers and guests use them that it would get to the stage where it would be impossible to keep track of.
For two places that are quite close in the world, the differences between Silicon Valley and Las Vegas are stark. The more and more that the Valley innovates, there become more ways that Vegas can lose out, and if you’re caught cheating, or most likely trying to cheat in Vegas, your fun is over, quite literally, as you’ll probably be dealt some tough justice by the Casino and by the local police, and be told never to return. For the Casinos, Google Glass is a device which could set a dangerous precedent in their gambling halls.
Just try to imagine the possibilities of such a device that might not be too far in the future, a Google contact lens, with apps like a card counter that could see your hand and calculate instantaneously what your probable rate of a winning hand would be. For a $1,500 dollar investment, and some seed money you could be rich in a day.
What Caesar’s Palace does, the rest of the gaming world follows, and by the time Google Glass goes on general release, I don’t think there’ll be a Casino in the world that will allow a person to wear Google Glass in a gambling hall, but one can always dream!