Facial Recognition in Casinos

Facial recognition can be defined as taking pictures of faces and then comparing these images digitally to pictures in a criminal database.  Casinos have been using this technology for a while now, and establishments like the Trump Plaza, Trump Marina and Trump Taj have all been known to harness it to the best of its capabilities.  Security in casinos have said that technology has helped them keep criminals out of their establishments, and that is has been effective in stopping criminals from taking advantage of casinos.

Some however, do not look upon this technology favourably, and they see it as an infringement on the privacy of casino patrons.  Facial recognition is technically not an infringement of civil liberty as they are in a public place and identifying criminals not only benefits the casino but other casino patrons as well.  It is also known as biometrics and was developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1996 MIT marketed the system and in the following year Trump Marina began using it and the casino had identified eight patrons cheating at Baccarat within three days of it being installed.

Using it Effectively

Facial recognition, together with other forms of surveillance in a casino can be very effective in identifying criminals.  The system will quickly pick up if the person has previously cheated or scammed another casino from the database.  It will also pick up if the person has a previous criminal record pertaining to casino crimes or if they have been banned from any other casinos.  Casinos can then use this information to safeguard themselves from any criminal activity taking place as well as protecting their patrons from being scammed or subjected to these criminals.

The pictures that are in the database or provided by other gambling locations as well as law enforcement agencies and some organisations will also sell these databases to casinos so that they can quickly track any scam artists.  When a patron enters a casino the image is captured and is then moved to a second monitor.  The operator will enter various category codes like race, age and gender and then images will appear on the screen to see if the image fits with any in the database. If the match is not 100% then the patron is likely not a criminal or scam artist and will not be a threat to the casino.  If there are possible matches the casino must then decide whether to ask the patron to leave, or to continue to monitor them. If they do see any illegal activity they can then contact law enforcement and they will then take over.

Benefits of Facial Recognition

Although it can be costly, facial recognition is worthwhile in the long term as it can save the casino a lot of money. It can also show patrons that they are serious about security, and ensuring they have a safe and secure gambling experience. Macau uses facial recognition at their ATM’s to identify criminals involved in money laundering and checks that the card actually belongs to the patron drawing the cash.  In the future it may well be used on the Internet too, especially for those who play the slots Australia has to offer, as it could be used to aid problem gamblers by identifying them when they log on. Plus, it has already been effective in rooting out all kinds of money fraud, and can help with the fight against terrorism.