Gaming manufacturers bringing facial biometrics to Vegas industry event

Video gaming machines that identify gamers with biometric facial recognition are among new technologies being demonstrated at the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E), the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Several manufacturers of gaming systems, including Scientific Games and Konami, will show off object recognition and biometric technology at the conference, with the promise of delivering more data on players than operators have ever had access to.

Konami Vice President of Product Management Greg Colella told the Review-Journal the technology could create an anonymous ID for an individual player, and then track how often that person visits the property, how much she or he usually spends, and which in-house restaurant the individual prefers. Data could be sent to hosts, who could offer customized incentives.

“Those hosts are the key to a lot of that (old Vegas vibe). They knew people on sight,” Colella says, adding that facial recognition allows modern casinos to provide better service.

The technology will do what loyalty cards do, but for all players, regardless if they are enrolled or have their card on them. Some gamers may be uncomfortable with being tracked, but gaming industry professionals say that expanding use of facial recognition for applications like airplane boarding checks, and trade-offs of data as on social media platforms will help increase public acceptance.

Konami hopes that seeing a demonstration of how the technology works will answer the questions and concerns of state regulators, and a company representative says facial recognition could boost responsible gaming efforts.

Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo says consumer protection is the commission’s highest priority, and that the technology must by tested for stability, accuracy, and integrity.
G2E will be held October 14 to 17 in Las Vegas.

Facial recognition is also increasingly being used by online gaming companies to verify customer identity during the onboarding process, as in a recent partnership between Zengaming and AU10TIX.

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