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Poker Players Are Asking for Facial Recognition Technology

By Special Guest
Naeem K. Manz
February 11, 2020

There has been a lot of talk about the idea of introducing facial recognition technology into casinos. Proponents of this idea have argued that a facial recognition system could unlock an array of benefits for casino owners and players.

First, it’s a good way of tracking patrons and signing in VIP players without a fuss. Casinos also have the chance to track banned users and enhance the overall safety of genuine players.

But there are those who oppose the introduction of such technology for poker online. The question of privacy is the biggest one. Many feel that gambling is something a lot of people want to do in private. The fact that a casino could have details about your gambling history somewhere in a database that can be hacked is a huge red flag.

But what do players feel about this? Well, it’s hard to say since there are no scientific surveys on the same. But it’s clear that there is some positive sentiment towards AI and facial recognition technology in casinos.

In one Twitter poll that was conducted by Rob Yong, the owner of the Dusk Till Dawn card room, over 84% of all people polled thought that introducing facial recognition into casinos would be a great idea. It’s important to note that this is by no means an indication that facial recognition is popular among players. This was not a scientific study or poll. It only attracted about 5,000 votes. Although 5,000 is a lot, it’s not a true sample of the gambling community.

But it’s hard to ignore the huge percentage of people who are in favor of facial recognition. Besides, we have to presume that people who follow the owner of a card room online must be players too. The purpose of facial recognition, at least according to this poll, is to stop cheating.

AI could also deliver a personalized customer experience for casino patrons. Think of it this way. The casino would presumably have your data. It can identify you when you walk in through and assign you the right tables based on your previous gaming history.

Despite all these possibilities, we are still not there yet. While some online casinos are already implementing facial recognition to test out the market, there are still many others that have reservations about the technology.

First of all, the cost of setting up a comprehensive facial recognition system is very high. Casino owners have to weigh the investment and the benefits it brings. In doing so, they must answer one simple question. Do patrons really need a facial recognition system?

Well, from the Twitter poll we talked about above, it seems like a majority do. But more extensive surveys have to be done to determine the true preference of players. Additionally, how can AI enhance the safety of the casino?

If such a technology would help stamp on fraud, then it would be a huge plus for casino owners. But right now it’s still not clear how AI can help with anti-fraud measures.

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