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Strong take-up of facial recognition technology in gaming venues

24 May 2021

More than 230 gambling venues in South Australia have installed Facial Recognition Technology, as part of moves aimed at tackling gambling-related harm in South Australia.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said venues have been able to install the technology following on from the commencement of sweeping gambling reforms in December last year.

“Under the reforms, hotels and clubs with more than 30 poker machines where any of those machines are able to accept bank notes, must use facial recognition technology to help detect people who have barred themselves or have been barred due to issues associated with gambling-related harm,” Attorney-General Chapman said.

“Facial recognition technology must also be operated at the Adelaide Casino.

“Since early December, when these reforms came into effect, more than 50 million faces have been scanned using facial recognition technology in South Australia, with more than 1,700 detections of potentially barred patrons.

“It’s also pleasing to note that venues that are not required to install facial recognition technology are also taking up this initiative.”

Attorney-General Chapman said the initiative was aimed at better supporting both venues and people at risk of gambling related harm.

“Previously, venue staff would have to remember the faces of all barred patrons and be required to identify them sometimes during peak activity times,” she said.

“By automating a large amount of this work through facial recognition, staff receive an alert and are able to take appropriate action in response by intervening and ensure that a barred person is not allowed to gamble.”

Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio said he was continuing to work with venues to ensure they took appropriate action if a potentially barred patron was identified.

“Inspectors are regularly checking venues to ensure that camera placement is optimal and detections are occurring and that staff are intervening appropriately and preventing a barred patron from gambling any further,” Commissioner Soulio said.

To date, Consumer and Business Services has approved six system providers, while a further three applications are still pending.