The Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, has told the Legislative Assembly that facial recognition technology is “necessary” in Macau’s casinos and the best way to prevent crime and violence.
Addressing concerns over casino security issues by fellow members while providing details of his 2018 policy guidelines, Wong said that although the government had four teams operating under its control to patrol the city’s gaming venues, “it is necessary to adopt a facial recognition system” to combat potential security threats.
However, he added that the use of facial recognition technology would be governed by private data protection laws in order to ensure it was not misused.
“Casinos are private places and it is only recently that the use of facial recognition systems has been authorized,” he said.
Security has become a hot topic in Macau in 2017 following fatal shootings at Resorts World Manila in June and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in October.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) recently announced that permanent metal detectors, a special ops team, increased crisis training of staff and the banning of large bags from gaming floors would be among new measures implemented in Macau’s casinos following a meeting with the Judiciary Police and representatives of the security departments of Macau’s six concessionaires.
In a statement at the time, the DICJ described its objectives as “monitoring the security enhancement measures taken by [the concessionaires] and the implementation of the crisis communication mechanism, thus ensuring the reinforcement of the security measures of all casinos in the Macau SAR.”