NEC claims its facial recognition technology has successfully foiled an attempt by a problem gambler using disguises to try and gain entry to an Australian casino.\nCasinos and clubs in Australia must by law provide the option for customers to \u2018self-exclude\u2019 themselves from a venue, as a way of supporting individuals whose gambling has become a problem. During the self-exclusion process, a minimum ban period is agreed and a photo taken.\nNEC said its \u2018NeoFace\u2019 technology was able to identify a man who had previously \u201cself-reported and registered as a gambling addict\u201d from a CCTV feed covering the unnamed casino\u2019s entry points.\nThe system \u201cdetected the man trying to enter the premises, even though he had previously requested he be turned away\u201d the company said.\n\u201cThe man tried on two more occasions to gain entry by attempting to disguise his appearance. It didn\u2019t work. Such was the accuracy of NEC\u2019s technology, he was identified on each occasion and was turned away by staff,\u201d NEC added.\nFacial recognition systems are being rolled out in most casinos \u2013 NeoFace is used in \u201call of Australia\u2019s major casino destinations\u201d NEC says \u2013 to help them fulfil their problem gambling responsibilities.\nNeoFace in use\nThe Star in Sydney \u2013 the country\u2019s second largest casino \u2013 is rolling out facial recognition enabled cameras in high risk areas in coming months, according to a Daily Telegraph report last week.\nAustralia\u2019s largest casino, the Crown in Melbourne, has been using the technology for some years. In 2013, it conducted a pilot in its \u2018Teak Room\u2019, and in 2016 engaged a number of vendors for a year-long trial. The results were initially disappointing, the casino reported. The system was easily fooled by different facial expressions and minor changes to appearance.\n \nWith the technology\u2019s capability improving all the time, another trial commenced in January last year with nine cameras at entrances and in various gaming areas.\n \nThe Crown told the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR ) last year that the technology had resulted in an increase in the number of voluntary excluded persons detected and removed from the premises.\n \nThe VCGLR now recommends the Crown and other casinos \u201cexpand facial recognition technology to cameras on all entrances\u201d to catch self-excluded gamblers.\nFacial recognition technology isn\u2019t only being used to detect problem gamblers, it can also pick out VIP gamblers in a crowd.\n \nIt could be used, NEC said, for \u201cwelcoming regular patrons back to a venue and letting them know their favourite beverage is waiting for them at the bar\u201d.\n \nOn the arrival of a specific individual, a host could be scrambled to personally greet them.\n \nMany casinos in the US use facial recognition to detect blacklisted card-counters and cheaters, and Macau casinos have introduced facial recognition in an effort to prevent criminal activity and enforce anti-money laundering rules.\n \nThe use of the technology in such settings has prompted concerns about privacy and intrusiveness.\n \nIn its guidance to casinos, the VCGLR recommended organisations \u201cconsult the public, develop clear policies and procedures regarding the purpose of the program and the collection and safe storage of data, and balance expectations of privacy against necessity\u201d.