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New Zealand considering use of facial recognition software to curb problem gambling

May 26, 2018 8:55 AM

New Zealand gambling stakeholders are considering their efforts to curb problem gambling by expanding the use of facial recognition technology.

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.

The New Zealand-based website reports fifteen gaming venues are using the facial recognition technology, with six other venues installing the system in a few weeks.

The technology costs about same as a new gaming machine, $20,000 ($13851 US) to $30,000 ($20777 US).

Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Paula Snowden believes the system is useful, "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."

She added, “It would allow the venue to take action in quiet and respectful ways.”