Japan To Use Facial Recognition Tech To Fight Problem Gambling

By Ben Hamill - March 17 2019

Face Recognition Tech

When the announcement finally came that Japanese lawmakers had given the green light for the development of not one, but three Integrated Resorts, each including a fully functioning casino, many were surprised. But we knew that, considering Japan’s conservative outlook on just about everything, there would be conditions and restrictions to pay for the privilege.

Japan has managed to keep its countrymen (and women) very much in check and on the straight and narrow, thanks to its relentlessly strict style of rule. And it stands to reason that this will be applied to its IR Resorts too, once these have been mandated to the yet-to-be-chosen cities.

The latest is that Pachinko parlour operators, and also those in charge of horse racing tracks, may soon expect to see a formal request for the use of facial recognition technology, nailed to their doors. Government is of the opinion that the technology will go a long way towards aiding those struggling with an addiction to gambling to overcome temptation.

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We Know Who You Are

The country already runs a registry for those wanting to be denied access to the incredibly popular Pachinko parlours. But now, the Government’s plan is to link up the electronic self-exclusion registry with facial recognition technology so that immediately upon entering a gambling-related area or building, those players registered as wanting to be excluded will be flagged and denied entry. Government has said that it hopes to roll out the facial recognition program before the end of the current year.

But more effective controlled-access isn’t the only new measure eyeballed by Japanese leaders. The removal of all ATM machines from casino premises is also in the pipeline. The harder it is for players to get their hands on more cash with which to gamble in the moment, the better for all involved. The need for instant gratification is often one of the main contributing factors associated with problem gambling, and more often than not, a time-out is all that is needed for the restoration of sense and reason.

Advertising Not Exempt

Advertising laws are currently under review too, especially now that the development of 3 major casino complexes is drawing ever nearer. Government has said that the plan is that casinos will only be allowed to advertise their products and services in selected areas, such as, for example, international airport terminals.

The motivation behind this that by severely restricting a person’s contact with and frame of reference relating to the gambling industry, will help shift the focus towards other activities instead. In other words, government is hoping for a classic case of out of sight, out of mind.

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