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SkyCity PR blitz starts with facial recognition concession

25 June 2013

SkyCity PR blitz starts with facial recognition concession

“SkyCity finally bringing in a small harm reduction measure such as facial recognition technology before the final sign off on its dirty deal with the Government is all about media management and PR spin,” Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

SkyCity casino is bringing in facial recognition technology in order to identify banned gamblers out of a crowd. This initiative is part of a concession deal between Auckland mayor Len Brown and the casino.

“Facial recognition technology is the ambulance at the bottom of the gambling cliff,” Ms Roche said.

“SkyCity’s inclusion of facial recognition technology is a way for the casino to look like it’s doing something about gambling that is actually largely ineffective.

“Facial recognition technology only deals with people who have already developed a major problem gambling habit.

“It is a way for casinos to look like they are dealing with problem gamblers without addressing the causes of problem gambling in the first place.

“It is unfortunate that Auckland Mayor Len Brown is supporting these small band-aid solutions to problem gambling in order to push through the conference centre deal.

“Mayor Brown needs to rethink his support for this deal,” Ms Roche said.

“This deal will lead to more social harm from the massive increase in gambling opportunities it allows.

“SkyCity has not become a good corporate citizen just because it puts together some minor anti-gambling measures.

“Facial recognition technology is a classic case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted and lost all its money on pokie machines.”

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