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New trials and rollouts of biometric facial recognition to prevent underage gambling

New trials and rollouts of biometric facial recognition to prevent underage gambling

Gambling company Tabcorp recently completed an eight-week trial facial analysis for age estimation in three Melbourne locations to identify when an individual under 18 years old enters a betting facility, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The trial was successful, so now the company plans to roll the technology out to 400 TAB agencies starting midway through 2020.

During the trial, the faces of people entering Tabcorp locations were scanned with the artificial intelligence video surveillance system, which would alert employees if a person estimated to be 25 years old or younger entered. The legal gambling age in Australia is 18. Betters are able to place wagers at the locations on kiosks, meaning they may otherwise not interact with an employee who can verify their age.

Tabcorp Executive General Manager of Wagering Andy Wright says the company had been concerned the trial would reduce the number of customers using the facilities, but this did not happen.

“Cameras are common in retail environments, banks, service stations, ATMs, pubs and clubs and it’s broadly accepted by customers. We’ve just got to make sure that whatever we do doesn’t compromise our privacy obligations,” he says.

The technology, which SMH refers to as facial recognition software, will not operate at TAB retail terminals in pubs and clubs. During the trial, Tabcorp worked with Australian machine learning and AI company Eliiza and three facial recognition vendors, according to the report.

Facial recognition rolled out in New Zealand

SkyCity Entertainment Group, one of New Zealand’s largest casino operators, has begun using facial recognition in its Auckland, Hamilton, and Queenstown venues to identify problem gamblers, Casino Guardian reports. New Zealand company Torutek designed the system, which went live in November.

The group’s SkyCity Adelaide is also one of the few casinos in Australia using facial recognition, according to the report, and a similar system is now being tested in Christchurch Casino, with the capability to track how long people have been on the floor to identify problem gambling.

The system is expected to help identify self-excluded and other barred gamblers, and can reportedly match individuals disguising themselves with hats or sunglasses.

Merkur at ICE London

Merkur Gaming is preparing to put on a “big show” at the upcoming ICE London event, with technologies including its biometric youth protection feature Play Safe & Easy Plus, according to Yogonet.

The age-checking system works by capturing a facial image and performing biometric face recognition with blacklists and whitelists for protection of youths and other individuals.

The company also plans to demonstrate a number of new games, and gaming systems in both large, immersive and more compact form factors.

Omnigo tapped by top Macau casino operators

All six major casino operators in Macau are now using Omnigo technologies, including iTrak Incident Reporting and Risk Management technologies with facial recognition, the company has announced.

The simplified reporting and data analysis functions of iTrak enable casinos to operate more efficiently, according to the announcement, to protect staff, patrons, property and assets with real-time, data-driven security intelligence. Facial recognition is included as one of the modules within iTrak, along with Visitor Management, Lost and Found and others.

Casino Guardian notes in the above story that Macau casinos are known for detailed customer profiling.

“One of the major benefits of penetrating a market like Macau with Omnigo’s security system is that casinos can draw from a shared database of banned patrons, advantaged players, and VIP guests from Day One of implementation,” says OMNIGO Software CRO Mark Kornegay. “Sharing data across properties enhances security and surveillance for everyone by allowing casino operators to exchange critical information with each other and with law enforcement.”

Omnigo claims its casino customer portfolio also includes 100 percent of the Las Vegas strip and 65 percent of the Canadian gaming market.

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