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Sacramento Kings guests can use 'smart' bottles to pour their own drinks

It's clever, if a little impersonal.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 1, 2020
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Sacramento Kings/NBA/NINA

The Sacramento Kings are fond of using technology as a hook to fill seats, but their latest may be particularly alluring if you're in the position to score premium tickets. The basketball team is using connected bottle tops from NINA that let you pour your own alcohol in a suite or loft. You only have to open a tab, choose what you want to drink and pour until you get the quantity you paid for. This might let you focus more on the game than asking a bartender for more libations.

The feature quietly launched in a handful of the Kings' suites and lofts in January, but it's now poised to reach all the remaining luxury spaces in the Golden 1 Center in the "coming months."

It's easy to level criticisms at the team. While a Kings spokesperson promised to The Verge that bartenders are keeping their jobs, this still reduces the need for serving staff. If you're not a fan of cashierless stores, this won't make you feel any better. We'd add that it might come across a somewhat stingy. When you're paying at least $1,000 for one of these spaces, having to drink precisely measured alcohol seems like penny pinching. Still, the bartenders remain an option if you prefer the traditional experience -- you can reserve these semi-smart bottles for those moments when you don't want to leave your seat.

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