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NSW clubs to roll out facial recognition tech

NSW clubs and pubs will next year roll out facial recognition cameras to detect problem gamblers.

NSW clubs and pubs will next year roll out facial recognition cameras to detect problem gamblers. Photo: Getty

Facial recognition cameras will be used to identify problem gamblers in clubs and pubs across NSW.

The Australian Hotels Association NSW and ClubsNSW are developing a state-of-the-art system to be rolled out across all clubs and hotels next year.

The cameras will be used to keep people who have self-imposed bans away from poker machines.

Everyone entering the gaming area will have their face scanned and the image will be cross-checked with people who have signed up for the self-exclusion system.

ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis said facial recognition technology was already used in numerous NSW clubs and had been effective in preventing self-excluded patrons from accessing gaming machines.

“Close to 100 clubs are already using this technology and the feedback is that it works,” he said on Wednesday.

The technology will have strict privacy protections and no licensed venue will be able to access the facial recognition data, which will become become part of the Multi-Venue Self-Exclusion scheme.

The roll-out of the technology follows a recent survey that found 85 per cent of self-excluded problem gamblers supported facial recognition to identify self-excluded people.

“Clubs have a demonstrated commitment to protecting their members and patrons from gambling harm and this technology will take the world-leading Multi-Venue Self-Exclusion program to the next level,” Mr Landis said.

Australian Hotels Association NSW CEO John Whelan said the introduction of facial recognition followed recent trials in six NSW hotels and the success of a similar scheme in 300 venues in South Australia.

“Technology now allows us to accurately identify self-excluded problem gamblers and then stop them from gambling – this is a powerful tool and NSW hotels and clubs are committed to implementing it,” Mr Whelan said.

-AAP

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