Macau gambling laws prohibit casino from utilizing high-tech AI player profiling for profit.
For years, renowned gambling jurisdictions all
over the world have demanded better player protections and anti-money
laundering practices from their licensed operators. I know, that
particular statement sounds like this story will be geared towards
the online gambling industry, but that’s not the case this time.
Today’s concerns revolve around the world’s largest land-based
gambling mecca, Macau.
The casinos of Macau can be compared to
those of the Las Vegas Strip, but bigger, even more opulent, and much
more expensive to erect. Being such an immense draw for the most
affluent gamblers around the globe – particularly wealthy Asian
VIPs – Macau casinos employ the latest state-of-the-art security
While that high-tech equipment is capable of
doing it regulatory mandated job of enhancing security, it’s also
adept at exploiting many of the gamblers it was built and installed
to supervise. It’s so advanced, in fact, that the government has
apparently outlawed its use for exploitative purposes.
Macau Gambling Laws Outlaw Player Profiling
Security cameras are incredibly advanced these
days. They can zoom in super close and sustain crystal clear images.
They are able to observe people and actions, including illegal
activity, with precision accuracy. Endowed with artificial
intelligence, many of their abilities don’t even require the constant
oversight of human eyes to monitor and report suspicious activity.
As such, casinos aren’t really the place to
pull off any form of devious activities. Gone are the days of
slipping an ace up the sleeve, altering the number of chips in a bet,
or pick-pocketing adjacent players. Those cameras see all, protecting
the patrons as much as they do casinos.
If a player has been banned from the casino,
facial recognition software is integrated to pin-point them as the
walk in the door. Authorities can be notified of known criminals on
the premises, and sloppy blackjack card counters can be denied access
to the tables.
One would think such technology is performing
for the greater good. It is no doubt expensive to install, but with
so many governments mandating heightened security, it comes with the
territory these days. Of course, if casino owners can find a way to
make it work more to their profitable advantage they will – and in
Macau casinos, they have.
Tech-Based High-Value Gambler Targeting
Owners have been employing the exact same
surveillance and facial recognition software to monitor their
players. In doing so, they are able to create in-depth profiles,
identify betting patterns – bet sizes, favorite games, frequency
and time of day, etc. They’ve been using this information to strike
high rollers with targeted promotions custom built to trigger their
betting behaviors and induce further gambling.
Catching on to these tactics, the government of
Macau has passed new laws that prohibit local casinos from player
profiling for profit. With the new laws in place, regulators are
tasked with the responsibility of ensuring Macau casinos are no
longer using their advanced technology for duplicitous player
by Bloomberg explains the increased hazard for players when
casinos combine digital surveillance and facial recognition with
“The new algorithm-driven technology processes the way gamblers behave at the betting table and maps them according to their risk appetite. The higher the appetite for risk, the more likely it is for the customer to lose and the more profit a casino tends to make, sometimes up to 10 times more.”
The government is not commenting on the new
Macau gambling laws, and the documentation is being kept
confidential. According to Bloomberg’s Jinshan Hong, inside sources
who’ve seen the document say the Gaming Inspection and
Coordination Bureau now requires all digital surveillance and
facial recognition equipment to be tested and approved before use.
The covert legislation went into effect as of August 1, 2019.
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