Facial Recognition Tech to Filter Problem Gamblers in Australia – The Epoch Times

Facial recognition technology will be introduced to clubs across the state of New South Wales (NSW) to help with identifying problem gamblers, according to the Australian Hotels Association and Clubs NSW.
Both associations have developed state-of-the-art systems that will be deployed across clubs and hotels next year.
Patrons will have their face scanned and images cross-checked with a system that monitors problem gamblers who have self-imposed bans.
“Close to 100 clubs are already using this technology, and the feedback is that it works,” said John Landis, CEO of ClubsNSW in a statement on Oct. 19.
Landis said strict privacy protections will be in place with no venue having access to the data collected.
“Clubs have a demonstrated commitment to protecting their members and patrons from gambling harm and this technology will take the world-leading Multi-Venue Self-Exclusion program to the next level,” he said in comments obtained by AAP.
John Whelan, CEO of the Australian Hotels Association NSW, said the state-wide rollout comes after a successful trial with six hotels.
“Technology now allows us to accurately identify self-excluded problem gamblers and then stop them from gambling,” he said.
In response, NSW state MP Cate Faehrmann of the left-wing Greens Party, criticised the plan calling it “terrifying.”
“This is as terrifying as it is absurd,” she said in a statement. “Not only is this a huge invasion of privacy, it’s far less accurate than a mandatory card. It’s also another piece of public data at threat of a potential breach.
“We need to place a moratorium on new facial recognition technology so that it can be assessed and regulated, before it ends up in every pub and club in every town in NSW.
Faehrmann said the state needed to instead, adopt “cashless gambling cards” that limit the amount of time problem gamblers spend on pokie machines, and a curfew on machines operating between midnight and midday.
Australians are among the heaviest gamblers in the world per capita, losing around A$24.9 billion (US$15.74 billion) a year. Typically, lower socio-economic areas tend to contribute the highest revenue to clubs and pokie operators.


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