Macau legislator proposes using face recognition technology to reduce crime

Casino Review Macau legislator Leong Sun Iok
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Macau legislator Leong Sun Iok has proposed using face recognition technology to help improve security at local casino floors and hotels.

In a written request to the government on 7 September, Leong noted that robberies in casinos had risen 50 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2018, according to figures supplied by the Office of the Secretary for Security.

Leong also reported that in early September, two mainland Chinese visitors staying at a Cotai resort during a business trip were allegedly followed to their hotel rooms and robbed. He added that such incidents could potentially have a “severe impact on Macau’s tourism image”.

Such crimes often involved what Leong characterised “outsiders” rather than local people. In light of this, he suggests the government should create an enforceable system – possibly utilising facial recognition technology – to restrict any blacklisted tourists from visiting Macau or attending casinos.

Such technology could also be used for enforcement of a bill put forward in July which would ban Macau-based gaming workers from entering casino floors outside of work hours.

Face recognition technology is already in use in some Macau casino resorts. In early 2015, Melco Crown Entertainment announced the installation of the technology at its properties.

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