Macau operators embrace AI and hidden cameras to track customers

Macau’s casino operators are starting to deploy hidden cameras with facial recognition technology, and digitally-enabled poker chips and tables to track customers’ gambling behavior, Bloomberg reports.

According to people close to the matter, the Macau units of Las Vegas Sands Corp, and MGM Resorts International have already started to deploy these technologies on their tables. 

The new technology uses algorithms that are able to separate serious gamblers, weeding out those that are just there for fun. 

This allows operators to offer targeted perks to keep their most important customers happy. 

“Those who can afford to lose, those who play even more when losing money, we can for sure offer them a free meal,” said Andrew Lo, executive director of junket operator Suncity’s listed arm, said in an interview with Bloomberg. Suncity is planning to use Walker Digital’s RFID technology in its Vietnam casino. 

However, operators have also voiced concerns about the privacy implications coming out of the advanced surveillance. 

A senior management executive at Galaxy Entertainment reportedly voiced concerns in an internal meeting that high-spending customers wouldn’t want to be watched, according to a source close to the matter. 

They were also concerned that government and law enforcement authorities may want access to data that’s collected.

“This new technology certainly has the potential to infringe the law as it expands the scope of players whose breadth and range of activities would now be tracked,” commented Ben Lee, managing partner at gaming consultancy IGamiX, speaking to Bloomberg.