NZ Casinos Adopt Facial Recognition Tech

Tia Winter | 31 January 2020

Land based casinos across New Zealand have begun to fully adopt facial recognition technology. The intended use of the cutting edge systems is, according to spokesmen, the prevention of problem gamblers from entering a casino’s premises. With fast acting biometric detection systems, a problem gambler can be detected, and authorities notified, long before the individual is even able to engage in casino games.

The globally renowned SkyCity Entertainment Group, one of the largest gambling organisations in the New Zealand, is the most recent to have the systems installed. Their world class operations in Queenstown, Hamilton and Auckland all now use facial recognition, with fully integrated systems at every entrance.

Though, as it stands, the technology itself is still highly controversial, with accuracy levels often called into question.

What Is Biometric Security?

Biometric technology uses unique genetic human traits in order to identify individuals. In the case of facial recognition, a human face is mapped out, logged, and can later be matched, all completely autonomously. In this fashion security systems are massively upgraded, assisting security professionals on levels once thought to be nothing more than science fiction. Best of all, these systems all but eliminates the need for more intrusive, physical screening methods, which may have previously even required the taking of fingerprints.

But, even as the cutting edge equipment is adopted in airports, casinos, and other venues, it is not without its critics. Reports have frequently been heard that the method is not as accurate as the public have been lead to believe. Some experts have even called facial recognition so flawed as to be unworkable, suggesting that a simple disguise is enough to fool the algorithms.

SkyCity Entertainment Group, on the other hand, insist that the technology has come a long way, and that it is perfectly adequate for screening at casino entrances.

Always Improving

Given that the New Zealand police force is rumoured to adopting their own biometric systems, it seems that local faith in biometrics is certainly high. United States based company, DataWorks, is even said to be working with the local police force to develop a crime fighting version of the same equipment being used in casinos. Although there is no word yet as to when such an advanced version will be ready.

In Macau, meanwhile, facial recognition security has long been used in gambling venues, with reports claiming that results have been outstanding. It seems like only a matter of time before this technology is an integral part of gambling venues around the world.