Security and Identity Management in the Gaming Industry

Last updated: 04 July 2018

Last week we held a webinar together with Veridocs, on the topic of security and identity management in the gaming industry. We have pulled together the 5 key takeaways from the session.

  1. New technologies are equipped to overcome the deficiencies of the past.

Many traditional technologies and security procedures such as handheld bar code readers, manual ID check, manual recordkeeping, and floor presence check points haven’t done enough to keep up with the ever-increasing complexities involved in keeping a casino floor safe.

Fake IDs, for example, are never perfect, and today’s document readers are equipped to look at more than the easily faked bar code.  They use multiple light sources to pick up and check for numerous security markings while advanced algorithms authenticate the ID against the appropriate, government issued, ID template.

Or take for instance, the manual, random, patrolling of casino floors and monitoring of security camera feeds. According to Derk J Boss, CFE, CPP, CSP and Alan W. Zajic, “Most new surveillance operators are not trained in the technique of proper patrol. Most, in fact, are trained to patrol randomly and not in a systematic manner…a random patrol equals random results. Random results will cost your casino money, a loss of efficiency, and will not deter crime.” With the advances in facial recognition technology, random surveillance is a thing of the past.  Even systematic patrol can be set aside because facial recognition allows for 24/7, real time monitoring and alerting to optimize efficiencies and of course, deter crime.

  1. Facial recognition speed and accuracy have made massive improvements in the last decade.

It’s no secret that casinos and law enforcement alike have been at least passively researching facial recognition for years.  While it certainly had its own deficiencies in the past, machine learning advances have moved this technology from deficient to excellent!

You’ve heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI)? AI is all about learning.  No matter the amount of data you had at your disposal, the effectiveness of traditional algorithms (regardless of the application) would level off at some point.  With machine learning advances, the algorithms continue improving as they are exposed to more and more data. These advances have improved facial recognition accuracy and speed results ten-fold.  Just this year, DHS and NIST sponsored a biometric rally where the technology was put to the real world test and the results were amazing.

  1. Adding document authentication will strengthen your KYC security.

What’s the first thing you’re asked to present checking into the casino hotel or cashing in at the end of a great night of gambling? Your ID.

By implementing document authentication, casinos are able to add a layer of security that removes the innate human error associated with manual ID reviews.  Large casino-destination cities like Las Vegas in the United States and Macua in China, attract patrons from around the world.  With that wide array of individuals comes a wide array of ID cards, driver’s licenses, and passports. It takes years of experience and practice to identify a fake ID and expecting cage workers and concierges to catch such nuances is not likely.  By utilizing document authentication such as Gemalto’s CR5400 ID1 Reader or the AT9000 MK2 Passport Reader, casinos can arm each customer touch point with a high-tech device capable of identifying even the most minute errors in an ID.  On top of security, parsing data from the ID and automatically populating hotel guest profiles, including images, provides time saving, typo-proof, advantages.

  1. Facial recognition is unique in its ability to provide value in numerous use cases including self-enrollment, access management and surveillance.
  • Self-Enrollment: The most basic form of facial recognition is 1 to 1 (1:1) matching. 1:1 matching allows casinos to verify that the person presenting the ID is in fact the person whose image is on the document.  By leveraging technology to authenticate and verify the individual, casinos no longer need any employee interference as customers sign up to become members of their players’ club, register for online gaming, or yes, check-in to the hotel.
  • Access Management: Enable frictionless access control for everyday needs and special events using 1 to few (1:n) matching.  The next step up is matching a live person against a small database of known individuals.  This scenario leverages the same technology as used in self-enrollment use cases but with 1:n, images are stored and used for matching at a later date.  The most common use cases for casinos includes granting access to secured locations and managing access to approved vendors and contractors.
  • Surveillance: Similar to 1:n matching, 1 to Many (1:N) matching, leverages a larger database of images that can be separated into different lists of interest. Picture a large crowd of 50,000 people. Even with 200 officers monitoring that crowd, watching for specific persons of interest and unusual activity is an uphill battle.  With 1:n facial recognition, any camera trained on the crowd becomes an additional set of unbiased eyes looking for specific individuals or specific abnormalities. Additionally, the use of facial recognition at choke points, such as entrances and exits, ensures that every individual in the area is captured and compared against the database of peoples of interest upon arrival and departure.  Each person captured is also time and date stamped.
  1. Document authentication and facial recognition are designed to protect your current infrastructure investments while future proofing for future needs.

Gemalto is front and center for the evolution of driver’s licenses from physical to digital and is currently operating numerous pilots in the US.  Understanding this transition is key to any security vendor trying to prepare your casinos for the future.  As more funding is pumped into digital ID’s, less will be allocated to the refinement and continuous improvement of physical IDs.  This is where document authentication really shines.  Society will face at least a decade where citizens will be able to present either form of identification, yet with less scrutiny surrounding physical IDs, counterfeiting is sure to climb.  Having a document reader in place now, will proactively prepare your organization for the shift to come, while improving your security and efficiency today.

Facial recognition technology is simply software that relies on camera input. Previous attempts to deploy facial recognition on a large scale had failed largely due to infrastructure investment costs.  Vendors of the technology required top of the line cameras that cost the consumer thousands of dollars each.  While the recommendation to utilize quality cameras has not changed, years of camera technology improvements have made the infrastructure needed for accurate facial recognition more affordable. Additionally, many casinos have upgraded their surveillance systems in recent years installing cameras more than capable of producing hi-res imagery that benefits facial recognition.

If you have any questions related to security and identity management in the gaming industry, leave a comment below or tweet us @Gemalto.

Learn more about the Presenters:

  • Gemalto: Daniel Asraf, Senior Vice President of Biometrics
  • Veridocs: Brian Heidorn, Vice President of Sales and Product Management.

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