Ohio senator calls for facial-recognition tech in casinos

June 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM

CLEVELAND, June 12 (UPI) -- Republican Ohio state Sen. Bill Coley called for facial-recognition surveillance to be installed in the state's casinos and other gaming establishments.

The lawmaker added an amendment to the state's budget requiring gaming facilities to use the technology and save the recorded data for at least five years, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Tuesday.

The idea, he said, is to prevent people from laundering money through casinos by trading ill-gotten bills in for chips, which would later be traded back in for clean bills.

"If you're going to commit a crime in Ohio and launder through casinos or racinos, we will catch you. We don't want you here," Coley said.

Critics of the amendment to the state's budget said facial-recognition technology is too expensive and is still primitive, not as successful as portrayed in movies and on television.

"It's more of a technology than a science right now. I think it's foolish to compel casinos to use it," gaming security expert George Joseph said.

The technology often returns several suggested matches when it scans a face, he said. Real employees would then have to sift through that data to find a more accurate match.

The budget is undergoing consideration by a conference committee of House and Senate members, The Plain Dealer reported. It should be finalized by the end of the month.

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