The current COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, been one of the biggest challenges that casinos and gaming operations have faced so far in the 21st century. But for many casino operators, a great challenge still lies ahead: reopening after the crisis.
This is especially true for properties facing the restarting of business operations combined with reduced staffing capacities. Economic impacts of the crisis have forced operators to make tough choices about staffing, and this could play a large role in how quickly, efficiently, and profitably these casino properties will be able to recover.
As casinos face the challenge of reduced staffing while meeting pent-up demand for casino gaming, access control technologies will become more important than ever. This is where technology like facial matching and thermal imaging can make a big impact.
Controlling and selecting which patrons are allowed into the property, and monitoring their movement with surveillance technology, will be critical. The same is true for employees as we strive to limit the possible respreading of disease and other business-halting factors.
From theft prevention to revenue optimization, facial matching and complementary technologies offers significant benefits for access control, people counting, and even stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus (and others) within the casino property.
Using Facial Matching for Counting & Identifying Patrons
When it comes to keeping a close watch on your casino property, knowing exactly who has entered and exited the premises is crucial. But doing so can be extremely difficult even with normal staffing levels.
That’s where tech like facial matching can make a big difference. By allowing casino operators and surveillance professionals to keep a closer watch on who exactly is present on the gaming floor at any one time, facial matching could be a crucial tool toward keeping customers safe—and keeping businesses operating in the face of new and unforeseen challenges.
Understanding who is coming into the casino, as well as each player’s lifetime value, is also critical to keeping VIPs happy, identifying “whales” and potential revenue sources, and keeping an eye on suspicious activities & preventing cheating or fraud
Facial matching offers a powerful opportunity to keep a close watch on who’s entering your casino at each moment, with rapid identification of each patron’s facial biometrics against your property’s historical records, law enforcement records, and even player self-exclusion lists.
By knowing exactly who is present in the casino property at any moment—as well as who should not be present—can help casino operators provide high levels of customer service for important patrons, maximize revenue by integrating with loyalty program data and rewards, and help avoid burdensome fines by supporting AML compliance.
In addition, the importance of people counting cannot be overstated – especially in the face of reduced staffing and possible post-opening capacity limits. By knowing exactly how many people are on the premises at any one point, casinos can ensure compliance with social distancing while ensuring customer service can keep up with traffic.
But while facial matching technology alone can offer powerful surveillance and security tools for casino operators, it can also be an especially powerful tool for combating the spread of illness when combined with another powerful surveillance tool: thermal imaging.
Pairing Facial Matching with Thermal Imaging Technology
Like facial matching technology, thermal imaging can provide a powerful tool for identifying individuals with high fevers or symptoms of illness, even picking them out from among a crowd.
That’s why several countries have begun to implement the two together into one powerful tool combining thermal imaging with facial matching to track potentially feverish or infected individuals across public spaces and within business properties.
Casinos can put this same technology to use for controlling vectors of transmission across the casino property. By combining thermal imaging with robust facial matching tech, casinos can achieve two key aspects of identification: monitoring patrons who may be introducing a virus into the casino, and monitoring employees who may be (unwittingly) contributing to a virus’ spread.
Monitoring Patrons With Thermal Imaging & Facial Matching
Facial matching technology can provide powerful surveillance capabilities for casinos simply by identifying and tracking individual patrons as they enter the casino property. But by combining that already-powerful facial matching technology with advanced thermal imaging software, casinos may be able to extend those surveillance capabilities to monitor the spread of illness as well.
Thermal imaging technology, combined with facial matching, allows casino operators to keep a close watch on individual player throughout the casino property, and keeps historical records of each individual for further comparison in the future.
By scanning an individual’s facial biometrics while also scanning their body heat for signs of fever or high temperature, this technology can identify potential viral carriers quickly and efficiently, and tie that result to the individual in question.
Using this information, casino operators can know who within the property is most likely to already be infected, as well as exactly where they’ve been and who they’ve interacted with. This helps not only prevent individuals from spreading the virus across the casino property, but also makes response significantly faster and easier
Monitoring Employees and Preventing Internal Pathogen Vectors
As important as it is to monitor patrons and customers as sources of infection within the casino property, it’s also critical to keep a close eye on staff as well. Because of their high levels of access throughout the property and their frequent interaction with both guests and other staff, infected staff members can be a particularly potent vector for the spreading of sickness.
This is especially relevant during periods of reduced staffing, when there’s more pressure than ever for remaining employees to show up for work to keep the casino property operational and keep customer service at expected levels. If employees are incentivized to continue to show up for work even when they may be sick, the potential for infection can, from employees themselves, increase dramatically.
Keeping a close watch on employees with thermal imaging allows employers and casino operators to know quickly if an employee may be carrying a virus, if they are displaying symptoms, and whether they may be a vector for spreading the infection to guests and their fellow employees. Facial matching with thermal imaging allows casinos to respond quickly to virus outbreaks and prevent casinos from perpetuating the spread of the virus.
Supporting Your Casino Reopening Plan with Facial Matching and Thermal Imaging for Access Control
As casinos here in the US and abroad look to reopen, there will undoubtedly be a specific focus on not only slowing a resurgence of COVID-19, but also future-proofing businesses against future, unforeseen economic impacts.
In order to survive tough economic times—and even take advantage of revenue opportunities ahead—casinos will need to be able to quickly adapt and respond to outbreaks, both current and those that will, inevitably, occur in the future.
Facial matching, especially when combined with AI and thermal imaging, can put powerful surveillance tools in the hands of casino operators. By identifying which patrons may be displaying symptoms, and by tracking those individuals throughout their visit to the casino, operators can act with more confidence in preventing, controlling, and stopping the spread of pathogens throughout the casino property.
The result: more confident operation, faster response to new issues, and the flexibility to adjust and adapt for continued success in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about how facial matching and thermal imaging can play a key role in supporting a casino reopening, we’d love to show you what our solutions can offer. Get in touch and request a demo today, and start planning for business to resume stronger and more resilient than ever.