Gaming authorities underline that any surveillance equipment in casinos requires their approval

The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) told MNA that the installation of any electronic surveillance equipment in casinos by gaming concessionaires requires its approval.

This week news agency Bloomberg alleged that the DICJ had issued a memo to local gaming operators to not install any unapproved digital surveillance technology, including cameras or facial recognition technology, starting from August 1.

Bloomberg reported in June that gaming operators in the city were testing facial recognition technology to track and study players’ behaviors and help them gain an edge over the players.

Afterwards, gaming authorities confirmed that some equipment suppliers were testing facial recognition technology devices in casinos from two to three gaming operators, but that such technology could only be used for security purposes.

MNA inquired gaming authorities to confirm if the mentioned memo was sent, which the gaming watchdog did not do, instead describing in its response the requirements for surveillance technology to be installed in casinos.

According to the DICJ, under the current gaming law, gaming concessionaires have the obligation to ‘install in gaming areas or rooms, electronic surveillance equipment as a measure of protection and security for people and property’ with such equipment having to be of ‘international standard’ and approved by the DICJ.

‘To this end, the concessionaire must address a written request to the same department, identifying the equipment it intends to install and attaching the respective technical specifications. However, the DICJ may at any time request the presentation of specimens or copies of the equipment referred to above,’ read the response.

The DICJ also added that when evaluating the application will take into consideration, the security purpose of the equipment and its compliance with the relevant gaming and privacy protection legislation in Macau.