Paulo Martins Chan, the director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Macau’s gambling industry watchdog, has confirmed that there are casinos in the Chinese territory that are testing facial recognition systems.
“Currently, two or three casinos are testing. During their operations, they have to obey the personal data protection law strictly,” said Chan.
He also told the press that any such system before being installed should be approved by the DICJ.
Talking about privacy issues and the purpose of the facial recognition systems, Chan said that he thinks “ it will take time for the parties involved to comprehend the personal data protection law. If possible, at the preliminary stage, [the system] will be used on a small scale in a few places. Then we will be able to see how the laws can oversee the use of the equipment.”
Earlier in June, a Bloomberg report claimed that Chinese casinos are using facial recognition systems and AI to predict losing customers.
The report claimed that casino operators in Macau “are starting to deploy hidden cameras, facial recognition technology, digitally-enabled poker chips and baccarat tables to track which of their millions of customers are likely to lose the most money.”
It said that with the use of Artificial Intelligence and advanced algorithms, the casino operators study the ‘appetite for risk’ of each customer. As such, this helps the casinos generate more revenue as when more is wagered, the house wins more.
However, the DICJ was quick to issue a clarification and said that the use of facial recognition technology at Macau casinos was limited to security purposes only.