Japanese Gov’t Plan Outlines Use of Facial Recognition to Fight Gambling Addiction

Japanese Gov't Plan Outlines Use of Facial Recognition to Fight Gambling Addiction

The Japanese government has formally announced a plan this week to fight gambling addiction that include the use of biometric technology.

The aim is to have operators of gambling facilities use facial recognition technology to automatically identify gambling addicts and restrict entry. Individuals’ faces would be added to such automated watch lists by request, either from themselves or loved ones.

Other measures outlined in the plan include the removal of ATMs from racetracks and pachinko parlors, and restrictions on advertizing concerning gambling.

The proposal arrives after the government lifted a nationwide ban on casinos toward the end of 2017, and follows earlier proposals from legislators considering the use of biometrics to identify casino visitors and restrict the number of times individuals can access such facilities. It offers another indication of the Japanese government’s interest in biometric technology, with officials having looked to biometric technology for border control and, most recently, to secure Emperor Akihito’s 30th anniversary ceremony at the Tokyo’s National Theatre.

Government officials are inviting public comment on the proposed plan concerning gambling addiction up until the 26th of this month, with the proposal expected to be approved by the government’s Cabinet next month.

Sources: The Mainichi, The Japan Times

March 8, 2019 – by Alex Perala