Canada Implements Problem Gambling Policies

Canada implements anti-problem gambling system
Internet Gambling to be Regulated in Ontario, Canada

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. announced that a new mechanism is in place that identifies and blocks problem or self-excluded gamblers from further gambling.

The technological innovation takes a photograph of punters in land-based casinos in the province by means of a new facial recognition system that pays special attention to players who have a history of problem gambling.

The moment a punter enters the casino his/her face is automatically scanned by cameras situated at the casino’s lobby. Therefore problem gamblers who willingly requested to be included in the self-exclusion list will be stopped by security personnel from placing bets at the casino.

This new system is now up-and-running at 19 of the province’s 27 casinos. According to Paul Pellizzari who is the director of policy and social responsibility for OLG, it is a comprehensive improvement if one has to compare it to the old method of having security staff at casinos keeping an eye out for problem gamblers, it was successful to a certain extend in the past, as technology evolves it’s important one makes use of it, since it not only makes your life easier but those people who have a history of problem gambling as well.”

“We designed various key algorithms that biometrically encrypt facial data into the system. Basically we used the industry standard for encryption by upgrading it and a mixture of other things so that hackers won’t be able to hack into our system. Should unauthorized people manage to hack into it they will not be able to access the data,” Pellizzari said, stating that the system is the corporation’s flag ship responsible gaming program.

Specializing in security and surveillance systems Ontario-based iView Systems designed the hardware and software applications. The province’s privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian has already given her approval and it’s going to cost the corporation between $3 million to $5 million to implement it.

To conclude, Pellizzari said that there are approximately 15,000 problem gamblers throughout the province on the exclusion list, and should any of them commit a breach, OLG would prohibit them from entering the casino, as well as adding more time to their banned period which could range from six months to an indefinite period.



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