Casinos down under deploy facial recognition tech to spot offenders, problem gamblers

The Star Casino in Sydney, Australia’s second biggest casino, has decided to deploy facial recognition technology after a croupier was caught by CCTV cameras directly above his head trying to steal a $5,000 chip by hiding it in his sock, Business Insider reports.

Facial recognition cameras able to match peoples’ faces to those in a database of known offenders will be deployed in high-risk areas over the coming months as part of a $10 million security upgrade. The Star’s surveillance chief Catherine Clark also added the biometric technology “will also be incorporated into our customer service where we can recognize customers and welcome them back personally, telling them their favourite drink is waiting at the bar.”

New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) is also using facial recognition technology at all six of its Gisborne gaming venues to help problem gamblers who have excluded themselves, Future Five reports.

“NZCT understands and accepts a duty of care towards gambling patrons and our legal obligation to help problem gamblers exclude themselves from our venues,” NZCT chief executive Mike Knell explains. “Facial recognition technology is an important innovation for helping self-identified problem gamblers stay out of temptation’s way by stopping them getting into gaming rooms from which they have chosen to exclude themselves.

“Although there is a relatively small number of excluded problem gamblers and the costs of the technology are high, with government agency and stakeholder support we’re hopeful that having the technology widespread will bring forward more people who could be at risk to seek help from problem gambling service providers.”

Earlier this month it was reported that the government of Japan plans to ask gambling venue operators to consider using facial recognition systems to restrict admission of gambling addicts.

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