South Australia gaming rooms to test facial recognition technology

South Australian Government has approved eight facial recognition systems.
South Australian Government has approved eight facial recognition systems.

Facial recognition technology could help identify people who have been banned from gambling.

Australia.- Facial recognition technology has been installed in more than 80 per cent of gambling venues in South Australia, including casinos and clubs.

The South Australian government has approved eight facial recognition systems. The technology will be tested for use to help venues identify gamblers who have been banned as part of their responsible gaming requirements.

The South Australian Consumer and Business Services (CBS), said gambling venues must notify gamblers that a record of their facial image will be made through the new facial recognition system.

However, casino operators were warned they cannot use the system to encourage patrons to gamble, for example by using them to offer special bonuses or other incentives. 

The South Australian government has been working to introduce stricter requirements for the gambling sector.

Among the reforms, authorities included the way that gambling products and activities may be advertised in direct communications to customers and times of day when gambling advertising is permitted on radio or television.

Elsewhere, Australia is working on different proposals to control gambling behaviour. The New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s (ILGA) has recently requested Crown Resorts implement cashless casino gaming.

Rev Stu Cameron, CEO and superintendent of Wesley Mission said: “A radical change such as this move towards cashless gambling could have a considerable impact on people who are experiencing gambling harm, which is a significant number of people in NSW.”

Rev Tim Costello, chief advocate for the Alliance for Gambling Reform said the cashless gambling system should be linked to verified ID and to self-exclusion registers.

In March, the Victorian government announced it will invest AU$600,000 (US$460,000) to examine how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted gambling behaviours.

The investment will cover research on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling harms and support needs of families and friends of gamblers, among other themes.

Shane Lucas, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO, said: “The most recent publicly available data shows online race and sports betting increased by 30 per cent compared to the same period the year before.

“It’s critical we understand and learn from these changes in gambling behaviour.”

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