Face recognition software installed at Gisborne nearby casinos for self-excluded players

 Face recognition software New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT)
New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT)

In the latest development, the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) announced that it will install face recognition software at its Gisborne venues. As a pre-emptive measure, this will help self-exclude players to stay away from gambling. According to Mike Knell, the CEO of NZCT, the implementation is part of a legal obligation to help problem gamblers.

Knell also claims that the technology is vital to self-indication and exclusion for players being treated in Gisborne. Using the technology will help prevent gambling-related harm, a growing concern in New Zealand. While there are very few self-excluded gambling addicts, Knell claims the widespread implementation will help far more problem gamblers.

Facial recognition technology is an important breakthrough for helping self-identified problem gamblers stay out of temptation’s way by stopping them from getting into gaming rooms from which they have chosen to exclude themselves.

Self-Exclusion Programs in Gisborne Casinos

Self-exclusion programs are designed to assist individuals who feel that their gambling habits have become problematic and wish to take a break or seek help. By voluntarily excluding themselves from casinos, these individuals can avoid the temptations of gambling and reduce the negative impacts it may have on their lives.

These programs not only aim to protect vulnerable individuals but also serve as an important resource to prevent gambling-related harm. Self-exclusion offers a valuable opportunity for individuals to address their gambling issues, seek professional help, and regain control over their lives.

Self-Exclusion Process in Gisborne Casinos

Gisborne Casinos has recently introduced face recognition software to enhance the self-exclusion process. This technology allows casinos to automatically identify individuals who have self-excluded and prevent their entry into gambling premises.

The process begins with interested individuals voluntarily registering themselves into the self-exclusion program. This involves providing personal information, such as name, address, and a recent photograph. Once enrolled, their information is securely stored in the casino’s database.

The face recognition software utilizes advanced algorithms to compare the facial features of individuals attempting to enter the casino against the registered self-exclusion database. If a match is found, casino staff members are immediately alerted, and the individual is denied access to the premises.

This technological implementation ensures a more efficient and accurate method of enforcing self-exclusion, significantly reducing the potential for individuals to breach their commitments or engage in harmful gambling behaviours.

Challenges Faced in Enforcing Self-Exclusion

Manually Prior to the implementation of face recognition software, Gisborne Casinos relied on manual identification to enforce self-exclusion. While this approach served as a starting point, it presented several challenges:

  1. Human error – Identifying self-excluded individuals manually relied heavily on the vigilance and memory of casino staff. Mistakes or oversight were more likely, potentially allowing self-excluded individuals to access the premises.
  2. Time-consuming process – Manual identification required staff members to manually review self-exclusion lists, which could be time-consuming and inefficient, particularly during peak hours when the influx of visitors is high.
  3. Privacy concerns – Handling sensitive personal information manually pose a risk of breaches or unauthorized access, potentially compromising the privacy of self-excluded individuals.

By implementing face recognition software, Gisborne Casinos have overcome these challenges and created a more robust system to enforce self-exclusion effectively.

Cost is high but worth it

“Although there is a relatively small number of excluded problem gamblers and the costs of the technology are high, with government agency and stakeholder support we’re hopeful that having the technology widespread will bring forward more people who could be at risk, to seek help from problem gambling service providers.”

The technology was successfully trialled by gaming societies at several venues around the country, including those belonging to NZCT, and became fully operational last year.

It works by capturing the person’s image with a video camera as they enter the gaming room. The image is then sent to the central database of excluded people.

The database returns an alert to the venue that the system has identified an excluded gambler. A member of the venue staff then approaches the gambler, checks their ID and removes them from the venue.

“We are pleased with the positive results to date and NZCT is progressively installing the technology at our own expense in venues,” Mr Knell said.

“Nine of our venues outside the Gisborne area have the technology operating so far, with excellent outcomes. “This new cluster will make 15 in total.

“We will monitor the Gisborne venues and how many attempted breaches of exclusion orders the facial recognition technology identifies.

Face Recognition Software Acts as Motivator

Acts as Motivator
Acts as Motivator

He believes that having this technology in all the Gisborne venues will be a strong motivator for self-excluded gamblers to stop gambling in the gaming rooms. NZCT’s gaming rooms in Gisborne are at Aladdin’s Bar and Tavern, Bar 59, Bollywood Stars, Brezz’n Sports Bar, Shipwreck and Sugar.

NZCT is encouraging the operators of the other two gaming venues in Gisborne to consider installing the technology.

Ka Pai Kaiti chairwoman Lizz Crawford welcomed the move.

“Facial recognition is one step toward harm minimisation,” she said. “It is not proactive in picking up a person who may frequently gamble to a point where they are experiencing problem gambling.

“It is strictly a tool for those who have excluded themselves from pokie play.”

However, she pointed out no other forms of gambling were covered by the technology. “I acknowledge the step that casinos in New Zealand are taking with facial recognition because their pokie machines do not have the protective factors that some pub and club pokies have such as jackpot limits.

“It is a concern then that casinos are allowed to apply for an exchange of table games for pokies.

“Facial recognition in casinos ought to assist with host responsibility, which is sorely lacking in both reports of the Department of Internal Affairs, neither of which assessed Gisborne venues.

“Online gambling is increasingly topical and it will be interesting to see if facial recognition will move into this space and jointly have multi-venue exclusions available as a self-help tool online — not only for the person experiencing problem gambling but for their family or whanau to be able to exclude them too when they suffer harm.”

Casinos in Gisborne

Casinos in Gisborne
Casinos in Gisborne

Gisborne is certainly a medium town in New Zealand that holds some 36100 inhabitants. Though there are no casinos as such in Gisborne; it has some fantastic neighbouring gambling venues. Among them are Skycity Casino Hamilton, Skycity Casino & Hotel Auckland, Casino Christchurch, Casino Dunedin, and Skycity Casino Queenstown.

With lots of slots, table games, Keno and Bingo, and live dealer games playing here are simple and easy to understand. That is because game croupiers are there to help you learn the rules if you would like them to. So even when you don’t know the rules of Blackjack, Roulette, or Poker; don’t be nervous, the rules of these classic games will soon enough be crystal clear!

Whether it’s with an LCD screen or just ordinary; there are varied sorts of different slot machine games to try your luck!

What’s terrific in a seaside space like Gisborne, is that you can go and experience a gripping time at the casinos25 experiment with water sports, and sincerely unwind. Not to mention the option of wandering through the streets, which has many shops, and perhaps stopping off for some refreshments in the restaurants and bars. Also, the town of Gisborne has numerous historic and cultural places. This is the most suitable chance to discover the rich culture and past it contains.

Facial recognition software

Online casinos NZ
Facial recognition software

In New Zealand Facial recognition software became fully operational last year; allowing casinos to install it as the NZCT will be joining these venues in protecting players. Facial recognition technology is an important innovation for helping self-identified problem gamblers stay out of temptation’s way by stopping them from getting into gaming rooms from which they have chosen to exclude themselves.

Statements from Knell confirm implementation at nine venues so far. Also, the Trust is planning to install the tech at every gambling venue they own. This technology is not only for recognizing problem gamblers. In fact, facial recognition is to identify card counters and other players cheating in casinos. Using this at casinos in New Zealand can help prevent gambling crimes due to the constant monitoring of valuable profits.

Bespoke software the new system developed

Online NZ casinos
Bespoke software the new system developed

According to reports, the new technology has been specifically developed for the NZ gambling industry. So, Torutek and COMs Systems partnered to create the system for all gaming venues. Added to this, the bespoke software is now being advertised across the islands as part of a government campaign. Added support from anti-gambling campaigns has pushed the move to implement the software.

This software watches players through CCTV entering gaming rooms and checks their faces against a voluntary photo database. Any matches will be dealt with quietly and gracefully to help players leave. The casino has the responsibility to check the person’s ID after being alerted.

The success of facial recognition has been proven at 15 gaming venues in New Zealand. By May 2018, 15 venues were using the tech to help self-exclude players. Now, other venues will probably follow suit before they become legal, like the casinos of the NZCT.

NZCT’s gaming rooms are at Aladdin’s Bar and Tavern, Bar 59, Bollywood Stars, Brezz’n Sports Bar, Shipwreck, and Sugar. NZCT will encourage the operators of the other two gaming venues in Gisborne to consider installing this technology to tackle gambling issues.

Functionality and Benefits of Face Recognition Software

Identifying self-excluded individuals

  1. Comparison of captured facial images with a database of self-excluded players: Face recognition software utilizes advanced algorithms to analyze facial features and compare them against a database of self-excluded individuals. This process ensures accurate identification and helps distinguish between self-excluded players and regular patrons.
  2. Real-time alerts and notifications for staff: When a match is found between a captured facial image and the self-exclusion database, the software generates real-time alerts for casino staff. These immediate notifications allow staff members to take prompt action and prevent the entry of self-excluded individuals.

Reducing the risk of self-excluded players accessing casinos

  1. Immediate detection and prevention of entry: Face recognition technology provides an automated and instantaneous response when a self-excluded individual attempts to enter a casino. By denying entry, the software effectively reduces the risk of self-excluded players engaging in gambling activities and potentially exacerbating their addiction.
  2. Enhanced effectiveness compared to manual identification: Face recognition software significantly improves the accuracy and reliability of identifying self-excluded players compared to manual identification methods. This technology minimizes the chances of human error and oversight, ensuring more robust enforcement of self-exclusion policies.

Improving player protection and responsible gambling efforts

  1. Ensuring self-excluded individuals receive support and assistance: By promptly identifying self-excluded players, the face recognition software allows casino staff to provide immediate support and assistance. Staff members can offer resources, such as information on gambling addiction helplines, counselling services, and self-help programs, to help individuals overcome their gambling issues.
  2. Minimizing the potential for relapse and gambling-related harm: Face recognition software is a proactive measure to reduce the risk of self-excluded individuals succumbing to temptation and relapsing into harmful gambling behaviours. The software reinforces self-exclusion commitments by denying access to casinos and provides a crucial barrier between individuals and potential gambling-related harm.

Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

Regular monitoring and evaluation of the face recognition system

  1. Assessing accuracy and reliability of facial recognition matches: It is crucial to regularly evaluate the performance of the face recognition system to ensure its accuracy in identifying self-excluded individuals. This evaluation involves comparing the matches generated by the software with the actual self-exclusion database to measure its effectiveness.
  2. Feedback and input from casino staff and self-excluded players: Gathering feedback from casino staff and self-excluded players who have experienced the face recognition system provides valuable insights. Their input can highlight any potential issues or areas for improvement, enabling adjustments to be made to enhance the system’s functionality.

Implementing updates and upgrades based on feedback and technological advancements

  1. Enhancing performance and addressing potential limitations: Feedback from staff and self-excluded players may identify areas where the face recognition system can be improved. This feedback can lead to updates and upgrades that address any limitations or challenges faced by the system, enhancing its overall performance.
  2. Staying current with industry best practices and advancements: Technology is continually evolving, and face recognition software is no exception. It is essential for Gisborne casinos to stay informed about the latest advancements and industry best practices in face recognition technology. By doing so, they can ensure that their system remains up-to-date and aligned with the most effective and efficient solutions available.

Continuous monitoring, evaluation, and improvement of the face recognition system are vital to maintaining its effectiveness and ensuring that it serves its intended purpose of enforcing self-exclusion programs. By incorporating feedback and staying current with technological advancements, Gisborne Casinos can proactively address any shortcomings and maximize the benefits of face recognition software in promoting responsible gambling practices.


The implementation of face recognition software in Gisborne casinos for self-excluded players marks a significant milestone in the promotion of responsible gambling. This innovative technology provides a more efficient and reliable method for identifying self-excluded individuals, reducing the risk of their access to casinos and minimizing the potential for gambling-related harm.

By leveraging the functionality and benefits of face recognition software, Gisborne casinos are not only enhancing player protection but also demonstrating their commitment to providing a safe and supportive gambling environment. Regular monitoring, evaluation, and continuous improvement of the system will further optimize its performance, ensuring that self-exclusion programs remain effective and aligned with the evolving needs of individuals struggling with gambling addiction.

With face recognition technology as a cornerstone, Gisborne casinos are taking proactive steps toward responsible gambling practices and setting a positive example for the industry as a whole.