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Ban Facial Recognition Technology in Gambling Venues

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
3 November 2022

 The Government must ban the use of facial recognition technology in gambling venues after shocking news today that facial recognition technology that is already being offered to pubs, clubs and casinos in NSW is marketed overseas as being able to “improve the VIP experience, encourage repeat visits from first-time players, and build loyalty”, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and gambling harm reduction spokesperson.

This comes days after the NSW Government pulled legislation before the parliament that would have allowed clubs and pubs to roll out facial recognition technology they say was for the implementation of a statewide exclusion register. 

“The gambling industry is pretending they’ve taken steps to minimise harm while deploying technology that is already being used in other jurisdictions to increase gambling profits,” said Cate Faehrmann.

“What the last few weeks have shown is that you can’t trust the gambling industry when it comes to protecting people’s privacy and welfare. 

“It’s disgraceful that the Government was prepared to legislate for the implementation of a technology that would have allowed clubs to monitor poker machine users' behaviour and increase the addictiveness of the machines. 

“It’s not good enough for the Government to just pull the bill. They need to prohibit this technology in gambling venues before it can be abused. 

“The Government must instead implement a state-run gambling card, which would be the biggest single step NSW could take to reduce gambling harm while nipping money laundering in the bud and protecting people’s privacy,”

“These revelations also show why any exclusion register must be managed by the Government regardless of what technology is used. Putting this data in the hands of the gambling industry is like having Dracula in charge of the blood bank. 

“I’ll be bringing forward legislation in the next term of Parliament to ban the use of facial recognition technology by gambling venues to prevent this technology being used to increase gambling harms even more,” said Cate Faehrmann. 

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
3 November 2022
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