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Australian clubs call for facial recognition tech to watch drinkers and gamblers

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During the Australasian Gaming Expo, representatives of New South Wales clubs and pubs said that facial recognition could help solve problem gambling and problem drinking.

Craig Laundy of Laundy Hotels said: “The big thing on the problem-gambling side is facial recognition.”

“I think we need […] a consistent harm-minimization platform that is rolled out across the casino, the TAB (Totalisator Agency Board, a betting operator), and pubs and clubs, with facial recognition being so good now and unobtrusive. You can do it just for the problem gambling […] and working with families.”

Sports Club CEO Mark Condi expressed similar thoughts, arguing facial recognition is “a must” in the gambling industry.

“We’ve had that for some time now [at Bankstown Sports Club] and three weeks ago I read a report where someone was identified who had self-excluded and had [briefly] got into our premises,” Condi said.

“They had a mask and hat on. [Facial recognition] picked them up from their eyes and within 30 seconds of gaining access, we picked them up and asked them to leave before they reached the gaming floor. So facial recognition has a very important role to play.”

Facial recognition is controversial in Australia, especially because of the lack of regulation on its deployment. But that has not discouraged businesses from launching it, citing security. For instance, Australian Turf Club recently hired Oosto to deploy the technology to help improve security and identify people.

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