An increase of gaming related crimes is becoming a big issue in Macao. The city has seen the number of casino robberies double over the past year, and it is certainly time that something is done about it. Well, lawmakers in Macau have a solution, and it involves facial recognition technology.
Fighting Crime with Innovative Technology
Leong Sun Iok is a legislator in Macau, one of the leading gambling destinations in the world. He recently sent a letter to the Macau government about the rising crime rate across the city. In it, he noted that casino robberies were up by 50% over the last year. During the first half of 2017, six robberies were reported at macau casinos, but the number increased to 13 over the first six months of 2018.
To stop crime rates from rising even further Leong has suggested that facial recognition technology could be a huge help. He argues that this type of technology would allow authorities to prohibited blacklisted individuals from accessing the city and its casinos.
Local laws also prohibit casino workers from being on the gaming floor when they are not working, and civil servants are also not permitted to gamble at the city’s casinos. Facial recognition technology could also be used to enforce these rules.
The introduction of this type of technology could also help casinos in a number of other ways. Many casinos around the world use facial recognition to help keep problem gamblers away. Players who have excluded themselves or have been excluded by the casino can be recognized using the technology and refused entry. It is considered a much more effective method, and leaves little room for human error.
Facial Recognition Success Stories
Facial recognition technology is already in use at various casinos around the world for the very purposes outlined in Leong’s letter. Studies have even been conducted to prove its effectiveness, and the results are quite promising.
In Spain’s Casino Gran Madrid-Colon, a facial recognition system is in use. Every day, between 5 and 25 people need to be recognized for various reasons, such as exclusion. The use of facial recognition helps to reduce the time that managers have to spend identifying these individuals.
While testing the technology, the casino found that the reliability rate of facial recognition systems is over 95%. As a result of implementing this technology, casino staff spend half the time it normally takes to identify individuals, even on short notice and on busy days.
This study illustrates that facial recognition technology could have a very positive impact on casinos across Macau. Casino owners would be able to refuse entry to anyone who is a known threat in an attempt to prevent robberies and other gaming related crimes.