UNLV Warns Against Breach Of Trust Between Customers And Operators
Last month a report surfaced that casino operators in Macau where using hi-tech surveillance in their casinos in order to gather detailed information on their customers, their habits and preferences. This data was being collected through facial recognition technology, biometrics and special surveillance.
Casino operators in Macau are apparently collecting this data without the knowledge of their customers as these hi-tech surveillance devices can be concealed in such a manner that it is just about impossible for customers to spot them or know that detailed information on them is being collected and stored.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas recently published an article in their Gaming Law Journal which addresses the sensitivity of collecting such customer data.
The article states that while casino operators collect customer data on the basis of providing better customer service and an overall enhanced gaming experience, they must be very careful and ensure that they don’t cross the line.
If customers find out that casino operators are collecting and using personal data to exploit them and gain an advantage over them, then they will lose trust and cause them to take their business elsewhere.
There have been reports that Macau’s casino operators were using data collected through these innovative surveillance technology to identify which customers were prone to spending more, the games they preferred to play and their responses to winning and losing. This data helped casinos identify high risk gamblers and customize their offerings to get them to spend more.
US Casino Operators Will Face Challenges
Many of the casino operators in Macau are US based operators like Las Vegas Sands Corp, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International. While they have implemented facial and biometric technology in Macau, they are yet to implement such measures at their US based casinos.
This is because casino operators will have to take into consideration the constitution of the United States and ensure that no citizen rights get violated in the process to collect data. The big question here is how much data will casino operators in the US be allowed to collect without disclosing the fact to their customers.
The UNLV paper stated that a number of US firms have already filed patents for such hi tech surveillance to be implemented. There is also a possibility that some of these US based casino operators could have already implemented such technology and kept things quiet as security protocol requires everything to be kept under wraps.
US Lawmakers will soon have to address this issue and come out with regulations that make it clear for casino operators in the US to disclose the technology and measures they are using to collect customer data.