Australia plans face scans in online casinos. All over the world, more or less meticulous efforts are being made to regulate gambling. A central point here is the verification of age. Self-exclusion in the event of a risk of gambling addiction is always a topic that land-based casinos, as well as online platforms, deal with. Australia is now thinking about a new way: In online casinos, a face check should be carried out before users log on to a page.
Gambling is only allowed from the age of majority. But it seems easy to circumvent this rule, especially online. Face checks should therefore now also be used online in Australia. The software should then recognize the faces and decide whether the players are underage. ID cards and driver’s licenses are also important here in order to be able to verify identity.
Protection of minors
The authorities also plan to use this software not only for online casinos. Other websites should also be blocked from minors in this way. Pages with pornographic content, for example, fall exactly under this desired protection of minors, which, like in online casinos, is difficult to guarantee. Bypassing age checks is still easy. Sometimes just a click of the mouse is enough to confirm that you are over 18 years old. Better control when there is a risk of gambling addiction.
Not only minors should be protected from gambling, but the software should also benefit addicts: Anyone who has been blocked should have their face saved. If you then try to log in or register again, the software denies access to the online gambling portal. This point is also to be welcomed because it would be conceivable for software to be used across casinos. It would be much more difficult to register in a new online casino after you have already been blocked by another.
Is data protection guaranteed?
Although the idea sounds like a good thing at first glance, critics rightly ask: what about data protection? If third-party software is used, third-party companies receive sensitive player data. It is rightly noted here that the system is not yet sophisticated enough. With such software, player surveillance is taken to a whole new level, which in turn applies to the entire Australian population.
All in all, Australia seems to be heading in the right direction here at first. It is especially important to regulate easy access to gambling online. Face checks and proof of identity appear to make sense, but the topic of data protection cannot be dismissed out of hand either. Ultimately, there is hope for a mature system that treats sensitive data confidentially and only stores the information that is necessary for player protection.
Australia Online Casinos Access after face recognition?
The recently announced website blocking is just one of the stringent measures the Australian government is currently planning to control online gambling. In October, the Australian Home Office suggested introducing facial recognition for online casinos. As the Australia Associated Press (AAP) news agency reported, the government wants to ensure that online casinos are used only by adults. For this purpose, an age check should be carried out using a facial scan, the proposal suggests.
The facial scan could be compared with official photos, for example with the photos of your ID card, passport or driver’s license. It is possible to prevent minors from bypassing age verification. In addition, players who have excluded themselves can also be prevented from accessing online casinos. However, facial recognition is a method that is considered to be extremely controversial. Data protection is of particular concern. It was only in October that the UK government announced plans to put similar plans on face scan age verification on hold.
The planned blocking of offshore gaming providers by internet providers could also fail due to the implementation. In Switzerland, where Internet providers should already block the online gambling providers on the blocked list, there are always technical problems with network blocks. It remains to be seen whether the Australian government will succeed in effectively blocking offshore providers.
Australia Online Casinos Blocked as part of gambling regulation reforms
This measure was taken after Australians reported difficulties in getting their profits from the offshore providers. It was the third and final component of the reforms that former New South Wales Prime Minister Barry O’Farrell introduced to regulate online gambling. Despite the powers that ACMA has to protect consumers from illegal gambling, Minister Fletcher said it was difficult to act against “faceless companies” that are not legally present in Australia.
The ACMA is now to investigate suspicious websites and report all those to the Internet providers who violate the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The providers are then instructed to block the websites. In today’s press release, ACMA explained that it has so far focused on illegal gambling providers that it is certain are aware that they are active in the Australian market.
However, she assumes that the list of websites will continue to grow if she does research. Since ACMA started implementing new regulatory measures in 2017, more than 65 illegal providers have withdrawn from the Australian market. This was achieved by working with other supervisory authorities and also notifying the authorities in the home countries of the offshore providers.
Another part of ACMA’s work is to educate the public about the use of these gambling sites. Many offshore providers have used Australian symbols, such as the Australian flag or Australian animals, to attract Australian players. Consumers could find out which services are legal in Australia in the Register of Licensed Gambling Providers.