An emerging dilemma to Nevada casino operators developed in the 1980's with the advent of strategy play, card count teams and the recognition that losses could occur through dealer exposure of the hole card when checking for Blackjack.
The problem: lost revenue through hole card exposure or lost revenue caused by dealing fewer hands when not allowing the dealer to check the hole card (or not dealing the second card) to protect against hole card exposure.
Nevada casinos allowed dealers to check the hole card whenever the dealer's up card allowed for a possible Blackjack; however, in the 1980's most casino operators changed their procedures to preclude the dealer from checking the hole card with a dealer up card of 10, J, Q, or K in order to eliminate losses attributed to players taking advantage of negligent or intentional hole card exposure or dealer "tells."
This change in procedure eliminated the problem of hole card exposure, but created another one; the loss of a dozen or so hands per hour as a result of playing out hands when the dealer had Blackjack at the outset but was not aware of the fact until the players played out their hands.
Not allowing dealers to check the hole card at the outset of play also caused more frequent shuffles and an even greater loss in productivity and revenue, since fewer hands were dealt per hour. In addition, the new procedure irritated players, particularly if they doubled down or drew to 21, but belatedly lost their bet.
Arthur Miller, who had worked in table gaming in Las Vegas casinos for many years, was convinced there was a way to address hole card security without causing delays to the game and without the loss of hands per hour caused by not allowing the dealer to check the hole card or not allowing the dealer to receive a second card at the outset of play.
The MAXTime® hole card reader, invented by Arthur and introduced to Nevada casinos in early 1990, was the ideal solution to this dilemma, providing perfect security against hole card exposure and dealer tells, while significantly increasing dealer productivity; the best of both worlds and an invaluable addition to table gaming.
The device came into almost universal use in Nevada casinos and the company then directed its efforts to New Jersey, where mandated rules of play precluded the dealer from checking the hole card whether the up card was an ace or a ten value card, a rule which, like the European rule of not allowing the dealer a second card until all play is concluded, has an even greater negative impact on productivity and revenue.
From its beginnings in Nevada and expansion to Atlantic City, Tech Art then entered the casino market in Puerto Rico, whose gaming regulation largely mirrored New Jersey. Like New Jersey, Puerto Rico permitted a rule change to allow the use of the MAXTime® device.
Riverboat gaming began to open up in jurisdictions along the Mississippi River. Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri legalized table gaming and casino operators in those jurisdictions ordered the Tech Art hole card reader for their Blackjack tables, as did most of the cruise ships departing U.S. waters that offer table gaming.
As legalized gaming gained momentum along the Mississippi, Native American casino gaming and state sanctioned casino gaming emerged in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and in various provinces in Canada, and the Tech Art hole card reader has become standard equipment on Blackjack tables in those jurisdictions.
Tech Art is licensed as a manufacturer of associated gaming equipment in all jurisdictions in the U.S where gaming has been legalized. The company has been licensed by numerous Indian gaming authorities that regulate the casinos Tech Art does business with. Tech Art has also been licensed in various Canadian jurisdictions offering legalized gaming and by numerous offshore gaming authorities, as well.
The Tech Art hole card reader is currently utilized on approximately 90% of the Blackjack tables in operation in licensed casinos doing business in the United States and its territories.
It has been said that Tech Art's hole card reader adds as much as 5% to revenue in casino Blackjack operations and the savings to from the elimination of losses due to hole card exposure is immeasurable. The Tech Art hole card reader has revolutionized the way the game of Blackjack is played, the game's profitability to casinos and players' enjoyment of the game.
THE MANAGEMENT TEAM
After studying hotel management in college, Arthur Miller came to Las Vegas to work in the hotel hospitality field. His focus soon turned to gaming and for the next 25 years Arthur worked in various capacities in the industry, primarily in table gaming. Arthur was working as a Blackjack dealer in the late 1980's at the time most casinos opted to change procedures for checking the hole card to prevent revenue losses attributed to hole card exposure and the increasing numbers of advantage players.
Convinced that there must be a way to address hole card security, while permitting the game to proceed at its normal pace and avoid the loss of productivity and revenue that resulted from the new procedure, Arthur developed prototypes of what was to become the MAXTime® hole card reader. Arthur brought his idea to his brothers and his cousin and together they formed Tech Art, Inc. to patent and market the product.
Arthur devoted 24 hours a day to the project to insure that the company's casino customers realized the potential of the new device. As business grew and the company expanded to encompass new jurisdictions, Arthur insisted on personally installing the hole card readers at new casino customers' properties throughout North America. As a result, he developed contacts throughout the country that has lasted to this day. His work ethic helped build the reputation Tech Art enjoys for customer service that is unsurpassed in the industry. Arthur has served as the company Treasurer and a Director throughout its existence.
Joe Miller graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in Accounting. After working for a CPA firm for two years, he came to Las Vegas and began a career in the gaming industry. He worked in the casino cage at the Sands Hotel until moving to the MGM Hotel when it opened in 1973. Joe worked in various management positions at that facility for 30 years. The positions he held include casino cage manger for 10 years, casino credit manager for two years and executive casino host for 18 years.
Joe has extensive knowledge of casino operations, particularly financial, table gaming and customer relations matters, and maintains contact with casino management personnel throughout the industry. Joe has served as Vice President of Marketing and a Director of the company and regularly participates in marketing and operational decisions.
After graduating from Florida State with a BS, Ron began work as an assistant bank examiner for the U.S. Treasury Department. He subsequently worked at an accountancy firm for several years while attending law school at the University of Miami. Ron has been engaged in the practice of law for 30 years, during which time he has also participated in an entrepreneurial capacity in several business ventures, including a restaurant and nightclub in Dania, Florida, that Ron owns and operates.
Ron also recognized the value of Arthur's invention at the outset and contributed to developing the business and marketing strategy for Tech Art. Ron has been instrumental in securing necessary legislative changes to permit the MAXTime® device to be used in New Jersey and Puerto Rico and he has developed an extensive marketing network in the Caribbean and with virtually all of the cruise ship lines. Ron has acted as Executive Vice President, CFO and a Director of Tech Art throughout its existence.
Gary Miller has been engaged in the practice of law for greater than 23 years. His practice primarily involves workers' compensation matters. Gary has represented injured workers, as well as the nation's most elite insurance companies.
Gary also serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, whose membership includes attorneys, doctors and Judges, with the common goal of raising scholarship funds to aid students who lack the economic ability to continue their education beyond high school.
Gary immediately recognized the potential of Arthur's invention and encouraged its development. Gary serves on the Board of Directors and is the Executive Secretary for Tech Art. He regularly participates in legal, marketing and operational decisions.