Melco Resorts & Entertainment Japan invited journalists and others to its offices in Tokyo to show off its new “MelGuard” system, which promises to provide secure entry to Melco casinos utilizing biometric technology.
This is intended to demonstrate the seriousness with which Melco approaches the issue of problem gambling as it seeks a license within the anticipated Japanese IR market.
The MelGuard entry system envisions that all casino visitors will be registered in advance, pay their entry fees, and be issued Melco membership cards. Arriving at the entrance to the Melco casino, each person must take about fifteen seconds to have their identity electronically confirmed via fingerprints and facial recognition technology before the MelGuard gates allow them to proceed into the venue.
Melco believes that this system will eliminate human error and ensure that those on a national blacklist because, for example, they are affiliated with yakuza gangs, as well as those who are excluded because of problem gambling concerns, will not be able to access the casino.
Melco Japan executives anticipate the creation of a national database—using open-source blockchain technology—of those excluded from Japanese casinos. This database would be shared among all of the licensed casino operators within the country.
Clearly, most further details must necessarily await the Japanese government’s own decisions about how to regulate the IR industry and how to handle information regarding problem gamblers.
Ako Shiraogawa, president of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Japan, tells AGB, “Since we are not yet running an IR in Japan, this is the best we can do to show our commitment to the Japanese stakeholders.”
A large room within Melco’s offices in the Otemachi district of central Tokyo functions as a showroom stocked with scale models of existing Melco casinos in Macau and Manila, as well as a prototype version of MelGuard for guests to experience.