Friday, May 16, 2008

Should Cheats Really Worry About Casino Facial Recognition Software?

Everywhere I go to speak or give seminars, people either ask me or tell me about casino facial recognition software that either will or will not put a major dent in poker and casino cheats´ armor. The claim is that this facial recognition software, which is also being used at airports and other points of entry to the US to recognize and spot terrorists threating global distruction, can focus on facial features of known card counters and casino cheats and identify them against a database before they even have the chance to take their positions at whatever casino tables they will attack.

What do I think of all this? Can this software actually stop someone like me from cheating casinos? If I wore a baseball cap and shades, would the digital cameras zoom in on my nose and calculate the distance between my eyes to identify me? Well, even if it could, there are so many factor that negate the technology, not the lease of which is the human factor, the surveillance personnel who have to be able to use the high-tech equipment to the point where they can actually identify a known cheater. But pushing that factor aside, I don´t believe for a second that the technology is good enough to weed me out from a casino crowd of hundreds if not thousands if I made even the slightest effort to conceal my identity, such as pasting a little makeup or putty on my face. And I have not heard of a single case of a known cheater apprehended while entering a casino or sitting at a table by way of facial recognition technology.

In a word, it´s more hype than not. Purveyors of this technology can make millions of dollars selling this equipment to casinos and casinos have millions of dollars to spend on it. The reality is that if you´re a known poker or casino cheat, the chances of you getting spotted and ID`d by casino facial recognition are no greater than running into your highschool sweeheart in a casino New Year`s Eve in Siberia!