Biometrics, AI, machine learning innovations to boost gaming industry growth
Casino executives, industry analysts and lawyers attended a conference at the UNLV Boyd School of Law to consult on how biometrics, AI and machine learning could shape the future of Las Vegas casinos, writes the Nevada Independent.
While there are many opportunities for the gaming industry, most machine learning and facial recognition-enabled product ideas addressed customer service and customer recognition. These include slot machines that leverage facial biometrics to recognize important or banned players, and reduce fraud attempts, or facial recognition-equipped tables to help pit managers identify and track known players.
“What we’re seeing is this introduction of technology into the gaming industry in ways we’ve never seen before, and because of it, it started to raise issues — or questions — as to how this works and what the ramifications could be for things like patron privacy, anonymity and data protection,” said Anthony Cabot, Distinguished Fellow in Gaming Law at the UNLV Boyd School of Law and event organizer.
While speakers focused on presentations about competing laws and technology problems, there was not enough discussion on how to solve these problems, according to the report, yet Cabot hopes the gaming industry and regulators will join forces to deliver solutions. Machine learning and facial recognition could, for example, help detect problem gamblers that need specialized help.
“This literally was the first time, that I’m aware of, that the industry and the experts and the regulators have ever gotten together to even discuss these issues,” Cabot said. “We’re right at the cusp of a new era, and it gives us that unique opportunity to do it right from the beginning.”
Alan Feldman, Distinguished Fellow in Responsible Gambling at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute and a former executive at MGM Resorts International still questions facial recognition opportunities and warns about arising conflicts related to data privacy and protection that could lead users to opt out.
“Facial recognition technology has become quite effective in recognizing an individual, but as it relates specifically to problem gambling, I’d say the jury is still out,” Feldman said. “There is still an understanding of what we’d like to know, in other words, it would be nice to know if there were patterns you might detect that might prevent someone from getting into any kind of trouble, or if there were patterns that could actually identify someone who is in trouble.”
“Here you have the unintended consequence of an impossibly bad outcome coming from a really good intent and a good idea, which is: let’s go see if we can identify people who may be having a problem and keep them healthy, and instead, what we do is upset a customer, cause them to refuse to let anyone see their data,” Feldman said. “And now, whatever problems they are going to suffer, they are going to suffer them alone, with no one observing.”
Digital privacy regulations are different in each region, yet in most U.S. states, except for California, there are no such measures adopted. E.U.’s GDPR, however, clearly says users can demand their data be immediately deleted.
Pew Research says that 56 percent of U.S. adults are more likely to trust law enforcement with their personal data than advertisers.
Cabot adds the biggest challenge will likely be convincing customers to embrace facial recognition in gaming.
“There’s different ways this can evolve,” Cabot said. “In one sense, we can do nothing, in all the different casinos, manufacturers, they can all go out and do their thing and try to comply with this patchwork of laws. The second thing we can do is, as an industry, try and get ahead of it.”
Konami wins award for casino management system
Gaming company Konami won first place for its casino management system, Synkros, in the Data Quadrant Awards by SoftwareReviews, a division of Info-Tech Research Group, the company announced. Based on submitted reviews, Konami received the highest total ranking.
“The most important thing we offer our Synkros customers is a true partnership commitment. Our Synkros team is committed to cultivating strong customer relationships, built on trust and shared collaboration,” said Jay Bertsch, vice president of global system sales at Konami Gaming, Inc.
Synkros also ranked first in system-delivered bonusing, user training, and gaming reporting and analytics. Some of its awarded technologies include Synk Vision biometric player tracking, SynkConnect player mobile app, Synkros Dashboards business intelligence suite, SYNKROS Offers Management, and SYNKdot mobile app for real-time property performance reports.
“We are pleased to highlight Konami’s SYNKROS as the market leader in this year’s Data Quadrant Awards,” said David Piazza, President of SoftwareReviews. “Our Data Quadrant report is founded entirely upon user review data, with a method of analysis backed by over two decades of IT research. These results show that Konami has built a strong relationship with their customers.”
Innovative Technology presents biometric algorithms for age verification, facial recognition at ICE London
ICU uses intelligent biometric algorithms to verify the age of customers and was introduced last year. Its age verification feature blocks children from gambling and the facial recognition feature identifies top but also excluded players.
Spectral Technology, its most recent product for high volume multi-denomination recycling, will also be presented at the stand.
“Since the introduction of ICU age verification in 2019 we have been developing the product and can now offer facial recognition technology. ICU uses artificial intelligence and ITL’s own algorithms to instantly verify age, and the next iteration of ICU can now identify faces,” said Marcus Tiedt, ITL sales director. “ICU Age Verification can therefore ensure compliance to prevent underage gambling and safeguard children, while ICU Facial Recognition can allow operators to identify VIPs and those who have willingly self-excluded or have been excluded.”
“Supporting responsible gambling and ensuring player protection is imperative for the gaming industry and should be a key part of any corporate social responsibility strategy – with ICU we can help customers implement this important policy,” he added.
Innovative Technology claims ICU has a 96 percent success rate in identifying underage gambling, outperforming human accuracy rates of just 69 percent. ICU is listed as delivering 99.8 percent accuracy on the Labeled Faces in the Wild – a public benchmark for face verification.
According to Tiedt, Spectral Technology leverages Smart Payout which has “80 note recycling capacity and can store and recycle all denominations from a given currency helping to manage float levels more efficiently and keep machines operational.”