Ohio senator proposes facial recognition technology for casinos

 - 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Republican state Sen. Bill Cowley proposed a last-minute amendment to Ohio’s budget that would grant authority to the Ohio Casino Control Commission to make facial recognition technology part of the mandatory surveillance equipment in the state’s gambling establishments, according to an article from ADI News.

The senator’s primary aim is to scuttle any attempt by those who intend to use Ohio’s legal gambling facilities for illicit activities such as money laundering.

The software creates facial prints of patrons entering casinos and uses biometric systems to measure facial characteristics—the space between the eyes and various contours, for example—then compares the image and data with photographs supplied by law enforcement agencies. The technology also helps security personnel identify and prevent felons and problem gamblers from entering the facilities, the article noted.

While critics are wary of the technology, several casinos, including MGM’s Mirage and Trump casinos, have been using facial recognition software for a number of years, according to the article. Biometric Systems Lab, a Las Vegas-based facial recognition software company that frequently provides services to casinos, said it continues to improve its products, which can help gambling facilities avert financial losses while improving management of legal gambling operations, according to the article.