Most people know that casinos have cameras everywhere. It is impossible to walk into a large land-based venue without being watched by a casino security team. The eyes in the sky, as people call them, are the small – some even miniscule – cameras on the walls and ceilings, in the elevators and stairwells of every casino. There is too much money in one place to forgo the utmost casino security.
Soon, Star Casino in Sydney will take its casino security to a new level with facial recognition technology.
Casinos will have to start working harder to identify their customers as well. The government wants casinos to verify customer identities within 14 days instead of the customary three months. This puts the onus on operators to ensure that people who might be in danger of gambling addiction receive the attention they need sooner rather than later.
In other words, casino customers, this is for your own good.
Star Casino Sees You
The Star Casino in Sydney is the second-largest casino in Australia after the Crown Casino in Melbourne. And it’s massive, too, with four hotel towers, and numerous restaurants and entertainment venues throughout the property. Not to mention, two casino floors with more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space, about 140 gaming tables, and nearly 1,500 slot machines.
In an effort to beef up its security system, Star will be investing $10 million in an upgrade. This includes the deployment of new facial recognition technology in areas of the casino deemed the highest risks. People consistently try to outwit the security cameras at casinos. The Star Casino’s most recent case involves a croupier who put a chip worth $5K into his sock. The security cameras above the table, however, caught him in the act.
The fired croupier is now on an offender list and his photo programmed into the facial recognition system. This means the casino will know he is there, should he ever try to set foot inside the Star again.
Management hopes it will severely cut down on crime and improve casino security and safety for all patrons.
However, they want customers to know there is also an upside for them, too. The Star’s Director of Surveillance, Catherine Clark, told the Daily Telegraph, “It will also be incorporated into our customer service where we can recognize customers and welcome them back personally, telling them their favourite drink is waiting at the bar.”
Identity Checks ASAP
Per the government of Australia, the gambling world has not been doing enough to address problem gambling and implement proper measures to push responsible gambling. So, the government decided to lay down the law and demand better from casinos.
According to Australia’s Federal Minister for Social Services, Paul Fletcher, casino operators must complete full user identity checks within 14 days. This is instead of the previous three-month time period. The Alliance for Gambling Reform Executive Director Tony Mohr called the previous three-month lengthy time period “essentially ineffective”. He also noted that underage gamblers and criminals stealing another’s ID can do a lot of damage in three months.
Fletcher used said examples as reasons to implement the new rule of 14 days. Not to mention the fact that there are more than 240,000 people dubbed at-risk gamblers who should not have to wait three months for assistance.
A report ordered by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation influenced the government’s move. The study showed that one-fourth of all gamblers placed their first sports wager before the age of 18. In addition, the study concluded that approximately 70% of gamblers have faced some type of negative repercussion because of their gambling habits.
Review In One Year
For now, casino operators are implementing the 14-day rule to expedite customer verification. In one year, another review will then take place.
If the casinos have been successful in reducing the amount of time required for ID checks but problems persist in the gambling community, the government will shorten the time for checks even further, from two weeks to 72 hours.
Prompting the development is the The National Consumer Protection Framework. The mandate has been used by the government to severely reduce gambling harm with regard to online gambling as well as bank cards and payday lending used for gambling.
Currently, there is no timetable for casino operators to make the change. Nevertheless, Fletcher has urged casinos to act swiftly.