The use of facial recognition is not something new to the world of casinos. SkyCity Entertainment Group, the same company that have an interest in SkyCity Online Casino, have implemented facial recognition at a number of their venues in New Zealand.
Facial recognition comes with many benefits for online casinos which we will cover later but there are a number dangers that online casinos in New Zealand should consider before driving ahead with the technology. There are various issues being raised in Europe regarding privacy concerns and the accuracy of facial recognition software.
Advantages of Facial Recognition Software
There are a number of advantages when it comes to implementing facial recognition at online casinos. The most valuable of these is that it allows casinos to stop gamblers that have an addiction from entering the online casino which is one of the major difficulties that online casinos face. If the facial recognition software was linked to central gambling problem database it would allow for players to exclude themselves from any form of online gambling.
Facial recognition software would also allow for casinos to protect clients from potential fraud. Players that have had their login details compromised would be protected from having their accounts accessed as anyone logging would not be able to log in with these details as they would not pass the facial recognition process. This would allow for a far safer online casino experience.
Known fraudster profiles could also be loaded into the central database which would add an additional layer of protection for the online casinos and limit the amount of money that is lost to fraudsters.
The impact of facial recognition software at land based casinos like those run by the SkyCity Entertainment Group with millions of NZ dollars saved and many potential problem gamblers saved from their own vices.
Dangers of Facial Recognition Software
There are serious concerns regarding the processing and storage of facial recognition data. These fears are not unjustified, an email address can be changed and discarded whereas the data-points relating to the construction of your face are not something that can be changed if the data is compromised. There have already been call across the EU(European Union) to ban the use of facial recognition software in other sectors.
Facial recognition software has advanced massively over the past few years but it is still not perfect. Many iPhone users across New Zealand can attest to the limitations that facial recognition currently has. There are numerous cases where facial recognition fails to recognise someone which could make the implementation clunky and a hassle for customers. The more dangerous scenario is when the facial recognition allows people who only vaguely resemble you to pass the tests that is more of a concern.
Current Implementations of Facial Recognition
WE have previously discussed that facial recognition is already implemented at many land based casinos but have any online casinos implemented this technology yet? The simple answer is that PokerStars have implemented a version of facial recognition within their iOS casino app but this has been limited to a simple login screen and none of the advanced analytics and fraud detection have been implemented at the time of writing this article.
The view is that online casinos are currently not willing to force potential customers into submitting additional information that they may not feel comfortable with. This is understandable as they may lose customers that would otherwise have enjoyed playing at their casino. Times are changing and it is only a matter of time before technologies like facial recognition become standard and we as customers become more comfortable using them.
Facial recognition is not yet the standard at online casinos but with the fast pace of technological innovation in the online gambling space, it is certain to arrive soon. The decision will be ours, as customers, to either embrace or reject this technology. To make this decision we must first make sure that we understand the ramifications of putting such sensitive data online.