Biometric authentication has only been a futuristic concept seen in films like Alien, Mission Impossible, among others. However, it has since become a reality given the numerous industries: retail, financial services, advertising and the gambling industry implementing it.

Given the increasing cases of cybercrime, it’s only befitting that online and traditional casino alike introduce measures to combat the hijacking of transactions or stealing players’ accounts. Many websites are taking to this newfound technology that requires the user to pass a facial recognition test to authorize a transaction.

As such, players are assured that only they can access the account, deposit, and withdraw payment. Note that facial recognition is different from facial authentication. The former involves the use of biometric software that verifies an individual by analyzing patterns based on his facial features.

Facial authentication, on the other hand, relies on some unique biological traits on an individual to verify he is who he claims to be. Many physical casinos have started implementing the technology by installing high-end cameras that can identify anybody from afar.

As such, when someone is involved in a scam, the casino management can identify the person quickly and apprehend him. If he shows up again, he is recognized right at the entry point to avoid disrupting the casino games.

How Facial Recognition Works

Modern facial recognition applications use biometrics to analyze the physical features of a person from a photograph or video. It compares that information with the database of familiar faces to find a match. The technologies vary, but here’s a brief of how it works:

  1. Picture Captured from a Video or Photo: The face might be in a crowd or alone depending on the context and may showcase the face in profile or looking straight ahead.
  2. The Analysis: The software analyzes the image based on factors like the distance between the eyes, and that from the chin to the forehead. It then creates a facial signature based on those facial landmarks that differentiate one face from another.
  3. Comparison of the Signatures: A mathematical algorithm is used to compare the face to a database of other faces. This process is called 1:n matching (n is equal to the number of facial signatures in the database).
  4. Match/no Match Decision: If the faceprint captured matches one of the images on the facial recognition database, then it is a match. The accuracy of facial recognition software varies based on factors like light, camera quality, algorithm, distance, subject’s gender, and race, as well as the size of the database. Advanced facial recognition systems have a margin of error of 10%.

Application of Facial Recognition Systems in the Gambling Industry

The technology has proved to be pretty useful in various aspects of betting operations. Here are some examples:

Account Creation

Most gambling websites allow players to play after making the first deposit. They are also required to provide supporting documents to confirm their age, identity, and address because online casinos are also subject to ‘Know Your Customer’ laws.

The face recognition software allows customers to upload a photo of their ID document, and take a selfie to expedite the registration process.

Self-Identification of Problem Gamblers

Some gamblers self-identify as problem gamblers to control their gambling habits. Such a person needs to fill out a form and allow the casino to take a photo. The casino instructs its staff to be on the lookout for such a person. Casinos can enlist the help of self-recognition software to help identify such players. The system has been used in an Australian casino where it caught a problem gambler entering the casino wearing disguised clothing twice.

Continuous Identity Verification

A player may claim that his account has been compromised and a debt placed in his name. The facial recognition system can be used to determine if there have been unusual changes in the player’s behavior, identity, and movement. The idea is to verify that the individual playing the game is the same person who has logged in.

The technology is somewhat new, but gambling companies are responding with much enthusiasm towards it. While facial technology promises many benefits, they should be measured against concerns such as privacy infringement. This issue compels companies to think critically about how they rollout facial recognition software.