Casinos in Macau have been using facial recognition technology to keep off unwanted people from the casino floors. However, the facial recognition systems have drawn criticism from rights groups as many see it as an invasion of their privacy.
Speaking at the sidelines of the recently concluded Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia in Manila, Avery Palos, senior vice president and chief information officer of Melco Resorts told GGRAsia that they have gantry systems equipped with facial recognition cameras “ready to be deployed when we have a jurisdiction that says that’s what they want.”
Melco has been using facial recognition systems and the casino says that it is only for security purposes as directed by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau DICJ – the casino regulatory body.
Why Macau Casinos Are Infamous When It Comes To Facial Recognition
Macau’s casinos are infamous for putting to use the facial recognition technology coupled with advanced artificial intelligence to track customer behavior and gauge into his appetite to risk/lose and exploit the same to profiteer.
It so happens that individual gambler’s betting behavior is monitored with those high-resolution cameras and “radio-frequency identification” (RFID) technology-enabled casino currency and smart tables. The entire mechanism then allows for a stream of customer data to be accumulated, which is then analyzed. The end result is an automatically generated risk profile of players allowing casinos to “treat” them accordingly.
In simple terms, it is customer profiling with higher accuracy that tends to deliver better results for operators.
Gambling Regulator Says Only For “Security” Purposes
After reports of using the AI-based facial recognition systems to profile casino visitors emerged, the regulatory authority, the DICJ, stepped in. The regulator prohibited casinos in Macau from installing any such security camera which wasn’t approved.
The gambling regulator denied all such allegations of customer profiling at Macau’s casinos and said they are only for security purposes. It did conduct an inspection to conclude what it has already been saying.
That Melco is ready with a facial recognition system to be installed is no surprise. Back in July this year, Paulo Martins Chan, the director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Macau’s gambling industry watchdog, already confirmed that there are casinos in the Chinese territory that are testing facial recognition systems.
However, he said that the casinos will have to strictly adhere to the laws concerning the protection of personal data.