Once a futuristic technology seen in science fiction movies and Vegas themed TV shows, facial recognition has matured to the point that it is not only viable, it is impacting our daily lives. If you’ve ever been tagged in a photo on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media, facial recognition technology was used to identify you. Several major airports use facial recognition technology to validate traveler’s identities. Facial recognition is now even deployed on popular cell phones for log-in access. Technological advances have allowed manufacturers of facial recognition systems to develop complex algorithms that create digital maps of facial features that can be accurately compared to facial features represented in images or video. While this may seem complicated, the functionality of a facial recognition system is simple; software captures an image of an individual's face from a photo or video, it identifies him or her by matching the picture against a database of faces, then it notifies the user that a match has been made. This technology provides casino surveillance operators and management with a powerful tool that can not only help protect assets and build revenues, it can also contribute to a casinos brand image.
One of the most prevalent challenges casinos face is identifying cheaters and advantage players. Facial recognition can be used to effectively identify known individuals when they enter a gaming facility. This level of automated identification provides a high level of accuracy well beyond the ability of surveillance operators and security guards to spot key individuals. In addition to freeing up personnel’s time from constantly reviewing photo libraries of known cheats and viewing monitors to spot these individuals, facial recognition allows security personnel and surveillance operators to keep closer tabs on overall gaming activities and casino operations.
Facial recognition can also be used to identify frequent and/or high-profile guests as they enter a facility and alert hospitality management so they can provide special treatment to established VIPs. Improving the customer experience of important guests helps ensure that they utilize a casino’s facilities to the fullest extent, and generates repeat business – both of which can increase revenues.
Social responsibility is also an increasingly important factor in building a casino’s brand perception and customer loyalty. For example, casinos across New Zealand are using facial recognition to help prevent individuals with gambling problems from entering their venues. The system monitors people entering a casino and checks their faces against a voluntary photo database of problem gamblers who are trying to stop gambling. When a facial image matches a registered problem gambler, security personnel are alerted to check the identified person’s ID, allowing them to discreetly handle the situation.
There’s no doubt that facial recognition will continue to impact how casinos implement surveillance plans, security controls, improve the customer experience, and look to further enhance their brand perception. To get a good handle on how your gaming facility can employ and benefit from facial recognition, speak to an experienced systems integrator who can walk you through the numerous ways you can implement this impactful new technology.