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RFID Boosts Gaming Experience for Florida Entertainment Centers

GameTime has deployed an HF RFID system as part of a unified platform from Semnox at all five of its entertainment centers in order to make game play access faster and easier, while employees leverage RFID to access the point of sale and their individual storage lockers.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 31, 2018

Florida entertainment company GameTime has replaced a magnetic-stripe-based playing system for its customers with an RFID-based one, in order to provide fast, wireless connectivity for game players, as well as point-of-sale (POS) and locker access for employees, all on a cloud-based system known as Parafait, provided by Semnox.

The system was taken live at the company's Ocoee site in June 2018, followed by its Daytona center, and is now in operation at three more facilities located in Fort Myers, Miami and Tampa. The Parafait cloud-based solution not only manages RFID tag read data and prompts the launching of games, as well as the unlocking of lockers or cash registers, but it also provides customers with online party reservations.

GameTime owns family entertainment centers throughout Florida. It operates locations in Daytona, Fort Myers, Miami, Ocee and Tampa, each featuring arcades, restaurants, sports bars and party venues. The facilities provide a wide variety of entertainment for all ages, the company reports, including games, parties, mini-bowling and dining.

Traditionally, the centers have provided gamers with a magnetic stripe card to which they could make pre-payments, that could then be used to launch arcade games. The systems were cumbersome for players, though, as the mag-stripe cards often became demagnetized, and the machines required frequent servicing and replacement, according to Mike Abecassis, GameTime's owner and CEO. As a result, he began seeking a sleeker and more seamless solution. Nearly all such arcade-based businesses use mag-stripes, he notes, but he thought other technology might provide a better option.

Abecassis researched solutions with Near Field Communication (NFC) readers built into machines that would read NFC-based transmissions from users' smartphones. "But I don't think people want to use their phones to interact with games," he tates. For one thing, he says, many players misplace their phones often enough already, and requiring them to take a phone out to play a game could increase the loss rate. Additionally, NFC is not yet open for such applications in iOS-based devices, only Android-based ones.

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