Legislative Council: Wednesday, February 07, 2024


Adelaide Casino

In reply to the Hon. F. PANGALLO ().1 November 2023).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs has advised:

The Liquor and Gambling Commissioner has advised that since 2019, the Adelaide Casino has operated a facial recognition system which was developed by New Zealand based software developer Torutek Limited to assist with the identification of barred persons.

The system marketed by Torutek Limited as the 'Concern and Guardian' facial recognition system is one of seven systems which have been evaluated and approved by the commissioner for use in South Australia. The commissioner has confirmed that the Torutek Limited 'Concern and Guardian' facial recognition system in operation at the Adelaide Casino is also operated by SkyCity at its three New Zealand land-based casinos in Auckland, Queenstown and Hamilton.

In addition, I am advised:

the Ministry of Health in New Zealand has entered into an exclusive agreement with Torutek for the implementation of a national problem gamblers database used by over 1,000 pubs and clubs throughout New Zealand

TAB New Zealand has successfully implemented the Torutek problem gamblers database solution across all of its 600+ outlets

the Torutek facial recognition system has been installed and is operational in over 150 gambling locations in New Zealand, and

the Grand Casino in Dunedin has also adopted the Torutek 'Concern and Guardian' system.

As publicly reported, the proposed license suspension being considered by the NZ Gambling Commission does not however relate to the operation of the Torutek system, but rather pertains to an allegation that SkyCity had not complied with the requirements of its SkyCity Auckland Host Responsibility Programme when it allowed a former patron to engage in prolonged gambling sessions at SkyCity Auckland from August 2017 up until February 2021.

The commissioner has advised that at present, 256 gaming venues across South Australia including the Adelaide Casino are operating facial recognition technology. A number of these gaming venues, while not legislatively required to do so, have installed facial recognition technology to support their responsible gambling obligations.

To date, in excess of 817 million facial images have been scanned and compared against the Consumer and Business Services barring database, resulting in excess of 33,000 possible barred person alerts. It is important however to understand and appreciate that accuracy of such systems can be impacted by factors such as:

the quality of the control images

venue illumination levels

pixel resolution, frame rate and angle of cameras

the sophistication of the FRT algorithm, and

attempts by a barred person to disguise themselves.

As such, while facial recognition systems are a first step mechanism for recognising or detecting a known person, venue intervention is required to confirm an individual and to execute appropriate actions. These systems should not therefore be considered a replacement for visual surveillance and intervention by venue staff, but rather considered as a tool to supplement responsible gambling obligations.

As part of the inspection of the Adelaide Casino and other gaming venues, Consumer and Business Services inspectors conduct regular compliance checks to ensure that camera placement is optimal and detections are occurring. Under section 19 of the Gambling Administration Act 2019, the details of information obtained in the course of carrying out these official functions is however unable to be disclosed.