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Have Las Vegas Casinos Implemented Facial Recognition Technology?

Kurt R. Mattson, J.D., LLM, M.L.I.S.

October 25, 2018


Yes, they have, and it’s not merely for security purposes.

One of the big casinos on the Las Vegas Strip is putting the new technology into operation, according to Alec Massey, a director in PwC’s Connected Solutions practice, who was presenting at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Massey didn’t say which casinos are now using facial recognition technology.

Face recognition is a method of identifying or verifying the identity of a person using their facial characteristics. Face recognition systems can be used to identify people in real-time.

These systems leverage computer algorithms to select specific, distinctive details about an individual’s face. “These technologies like facial recognition are being deployed today,” said Massey, who works with clients in the hospitality industry. “The actual wave is happening now.”

Massey’s company works with hospitality companies, to deploy sensors network analytics, and dashboards to deliver data intelligence.

He says that facial recognition can be integrated into the solutions that they offer.

Table game manufacturers—like those who supply craps and card game equipment to casinos—are using facial recognition to help casinos collect data, and many gaming suppliers are integrating biometrics into their casino products. This significantly adds to the data available on table play. Massey says that more than a few companies are doing this now.

Biometric solutions providers of facial recognition have exhibited at several Las Vegas conventions this year, including CES and World Game Protection Expo.

Las Vegas Strip casinos have been testing facial recognition over the past several years and recent enhancements have made the technology viable.

Facial recognition technology enables casino security to potentially identify people, such as criminals, by matching facial features captured on video with an existing database of photos.

Experts believe that casino and resort operators may use biometrics — including facial recognition or vein pattern recognition— in the future as a component of multi-factor authentication to access physical sites like hotel guest rooms or casino operations areas. These systems could potentially keep unauthorized people from gaining access to restricted areas.

As a case in point, a Las Vegas man impersonating a delivery driver was arrested by authorities earlier this year after he repeatedly robbed casinos by entering their back-of-house areas.

Las Vegas Metro Police reported that 44-year-old Danny Roy Salazar was jailed on suspicion of six counts each of burglary and grand larceny in June.

LVPD said that Salazar allegedly drove onto a hotel’s property in a refrigerated box truck and gained access into restricted employee doors and hallways.

Salazar moved through restricted areas of the casino wearing a lanyard and sometimes carrying a clipboard.

He is accused of burglarizing the Rio, Westgate, and Caesars Palace, as well as the Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, and the Hard Rock Café Hotel.

Facial recognition experts will be called upon more frequently in the future as the technology becomes more common. They will assist in litigation concerning first amendment and privacy rights, as well as intellectual property and trade secrets when face recognition data results in an error—and people are implicated for crimes they haven’t committed.

Facial recognition software has been known to fail in recognizing some ethnic minorities, women, and young people.

This misidentification or failure to identify these individuals will disparately impact specific groups. False negatives and false positives may cause injuries and may bring about lawsuits

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