Three casinos reportedly testing facial recognition system

Three casinos are reportedly testing facial recognition systems inside their premises, the director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Paulo Martins Chan, revealed yesterday.

“Currently, two or three casinos are testing. During their operations, they have to strictly obey the personal data protection law,” said Chan, who stressed that such equipment must first be approved by the DICJ.

When questioned whether facial recognition will assist the government in enforcing the casino entry ban for employees in the gaming sector, Chan said the government needed more time to study the situation.

“I think it will take time for the parties involved to comprehend the personal data protection law. If possible, at the preliminary stage, [the system] will be used in a small scale in few places. Then we will be able to see how the laws can oversee the use of the equipment.”

Last month, a Bloomberg report revealed that some gaming operators in Macau had introduced artificial intelligence equipment to collect data through concealed closed- circuit television systems, facial recognition technology, RFID-enabled chips, and specially-designed baccarat tables.

Responding to media enquiries, the DICJ said at the time that facial recognition systems will only be used for security purposes.

In addition to facial recognition equipment inside casinos, Chan also provided an update on the DICJ’s response illegal gambling websites.

According to Chan, between 2016 and 2018, the DICJ launched an investigation against more than 500 illegal gambling websites, of which more than 300 have been suspended.

The Judiciary Police is the responsible department for matters involving illegal gambling websites.

In addition to the abovementioned matters, Chan said that the local government is studying the rules governing junket promotion activities.

He explained that the government wishes to propose stricter regulations on junket promoters in regard to, for instance, guarantees and capital.

Categories Macau