Facial recognition to help curb gambling

Photo: bondvit/123RF.

Facial recognition technology is being trialled in some gaming venues to help identify problem gamblers.

The system monitors people entering gaming rooms and checks their face against a voluntary photo database of problem gamblers who have asked to be barred from certain venues. When someone is a match staff are alerted to check the person's ID.

Fifteen gaming venues are using the facial recognition technology, with six other venues installing the system in a few weeks.

The system was developed by Torutek and COMs Systems following a request from the gaming industry.

Paul Andrew from COMs Systems said they had been working on the technology for four years.

It wouldn't be introduced in all gambling venues, Mr Andrew said.

"It's an extremely expensive system and basically it would only suit venues who can afford the technology.

"For example, a country pub with three or four machines would never justify putting the system in."

The technology costs about same as a new gaming machine - $20,000 to $30,000.

Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Paula Snowden said the system was a good thing.

"It means that we can have a system that doesn't rely on photographs or pictures being placed on pin boards behind serving areas so people know who's supposed to be in, or not in."

It would allow the venue to take action in quiet and respectful ways, she said.


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