South Australia Pokies Venues to Implement Facial Recognition Technology

South Australia pokie venues are hot on installing facial recognition technology to identify problem gamblers

Note acceptors on pokies are set to becoming more common in South Australia, only if venues implement facial recognition technology.

South Australian pokies venues are happy to provide machines that accept notes if facial recognition technology is employed, The Advertiser reported. This tech identifies problem gamblers playing pokies. Consequently, the venue removes them from playing as soon as the software identifies them.

Catherine Earl is the policy director for South Australia Council of Social Service (SACOSS). Earl is not happy about more pokies accepting notes. She calls it a step backwards since it makes it easier for problem gamblers to gamble.

“SACOSS is concerned about the harm in the community that will result. Gambling is already responsible for significant harm in our communities, not just for individuals but whole families. This will just make it even easier for people to get into trouble.”

South Australians shouldn’t have any concerns about their privacy, according to Acting Attorney General Rob Lucas.

“Maintaining both the integrity of this data and the privacy of patrons has been a key consideration when determining the policy governing the use of facial recognition technology.”

Facial Recognition Isn’t Anything New

Facial recognition technology isn’t anything new because it has been around since the 1960s. U.S. intelligence agencies and the military pooled funding to create the first known facial recognition tech. The technology advanced quickly from the year 2012 thanks, in part, to developments in high-quality cameras.

The best software is extremely accurate. Facial recognition software outperformed all but the very best human experts in a 2017 study. The software measures dozens of facial attributes to create a template of a person’s face. This makes it possible to recognise the person from different angles, which is handy for catching those trying to evade the cameras.

New technology takes three-dimensional measurements so even photographs cannot fool it.

There are seven facial recognition technology firms to choose from. One, Vix Vizion, is based in Queensland. Swinburne University employs its tech to assist in identifying troublemakers on campus.

Venues Gearing Up To Install New Tech

Adelaide Casino has facial recognition technology with more venues set to follow. Others venues haven’t pulled the trigger yet because they are waiting for increased competition from providers.

Ian Horne is the state chief for the Australian Hotels Association. He is happy the software catches problem gamblers.

“We are very pleased that there are now seven providers out in the market, which creates a level of competition and makes them more price competitive. If the industry was going to enjoy the benefits of new technology including note acceptors, part of that was to also greatly enhance our capacity to identify problem gamblers with facial recognition.”

Tech Advancing at a Rapid Rate

Facial recognition technology has come on in leaps and bounds. US company RealNetworks developed a system to help count people wearing masks at the 2020 UEFA Super Cup.

Japanese multinational technology company NEC is at the forefront of this tech. It developed a system that still works even if a person wears a mask or face covering. The software identifies people in under a second yet it has a 99.9% accuracy rate.

A lack of privacy is the number one concern for people the technology targets. As a result, the local government is creating strict rules and regulations. There is no doubt guidelines will be ultra-strict and all data encrypted before storing.

People fearing for their privacy won’t have had their minds put at ease by the recent Huawei scandal. The Chinese tech firm patented technology that identifies people of Uighur origin.

Uighur people belong to a mostly Muslim ethnic group that mainly lives in the Xinjiang province. China has persecuted Uighurs for centuries, with thousands confined to forced-labour camps. China, obviously, denies such camps exist.

Huwaei altered its patent to remove the Chinese wording about detecting Uighur people. Furthermore, the United States banned Huwaei from trading with it in August 2018. This means Huwaei mobile phone users have limited access to certain apps, including those Google make.