Facial Recognition of Gambling Cheats and Undesirables, Proposed by Ohio Senator
Middletown Republican Senator Bill Cowley passed a last minute amendment to Ohio’s budget before the Senate and House committee members finalize the state’s spending plan for the next two years.
The amendment aims to grant authority to the Ohio Casino Control Commission to make facial recognition technology part of the mandatory surveillance equipment in the state’s four casinos and other gambling establishments. The Senator’s primary objective is to suppress any attempt by those who intend to use Ohio’s casinos and other legal gambling venues, for money laundering purposes.
The software creates facial prints of patrons entering casinos and uses biometric system of measuring certain facial characteristics, such as the space between the eyes, the contour of the cheekbone, as well as the size and shape of the nose and jawline. After which, the program compares the image and the resulting data against databases of photographs supplied by law enforcement agencies and casino operators.
As part of the surveillance and monitoring system, it helps casino security personnel identify and prevent known felons, casino cheats, problem gamblers and those who opted for self-exclusion, from entering their gambling premises.
Although critics of the bill contend that such a technology is plausible only as far as movies are concerned, some casinos actually use facial recognition software as part of their surveillance system. Trump Casinos and MGMs Mirage have made it known that they have been using such technology for several years.
Biometrica Systems Lab, the Las Vegas-based facial recognition software company that provides tools and services to more than 180 casinos globally, maintains that the company continues to develop improvements in their software. Their products enable casinos to collect, share and access real-time and historical data, as these help reduce unexpected financial losses and improve overall management of casino operations.