Positive Outlook's facial recognition based player exclusion system addresses the major problems with the existing exclusion systems and has the following advantages:
- Improved Detection and Enforcement
It is impossible to expect hospitality staff to memorise a large number of photos of excluded persons and then subsequently accurately identify and promptly remove the excluded persons. Positive Outlook's system automatically detects the excluded person. The automatic disabling of the machine upon identification makes enforcement virtually instant.
- Enables a Multi-Venue Exclusion Approach to be Used
Exclusion is not effective if an excluded person can continue to gamble at other nearby venues where they are not formally excluded. Because Positive Outlook's system is automated, long term and multi-venue exclusion for the first time becomes practical. The multi-venue exclusion process is a quick and simple one-step process, that can be undertaken at a treatment provider's office (i.e. enrolment can take place without the need to return to a gambling environment).
- Enables Exclusion to be Widely Used
The current exclusion process is being reserved by treatment providers for their most severe clients due to a fear of overloading the system. Regulators are also currently recommending short term exclusion periods (three to six months) be adopted, again due to a need to keep the number of exclusion orders in place down to make the system workable. With the introduction of Positive Outlook's automated system, exclusion can be used by all gamblers who have a concern about their gambling.
- Enables Long Term Exclusion to be Used
Because Positive Outlook's system is automated long term exclusion can be used without any fear of overloading the system. Further, because the system is not based on any legal requirement, a person can elect to opt-out for as long as they like. (The current maximum term for which a traditional exclusion order can be issued in New Zealand is two years). A minimum term of two years is considered necessary to reduce the risk of relapse.
- Increases Awareness of and Participation in the Exclusion Process
The existence of the facial recognition camera in the player tracking panel and the enable and disable lights makes it apparent to all players that a facial recognition based player exclusion system is available. This increased awareness of the exclusion process will increase participation by players who are becoming concerned about their gambling.
- Increases Treatment Provider Links and End of Exclusion Term Support
Positive Outlook's exclusion process promotes professional support by facilitating contacts and links with appropriate treatment providers. The system also includes a contact and support process that is initiated one month before an exclusion term expires.
- Promotes Self-help
The Positive Outlook system is a very effective tool for those who want to address their gambling issue by themselves. The system is not reliant on a person seeking professional help. The system requires a single image, rather than requiring individuals to go through the embarrassing and time consuming process of approaching multiple venues and asking to be formally excluded.
- Removes the Stigma and Shame with Exclusion and the Concerns About Disclosure and Confidentially
The current exclusion process typically results in photos of excluded persons being displayed on the wall in the rear of numerous commercial venues. These photos are visible to all staff, including casual and short term staff. The photos are often in full view of any supplier or tradesperson who visits the venue.
The knowledge that your photo will be placed on the wall in numerous local pubs (albeit in a back room area) is a strong barrier to seeking help for people who live in small communities (particularly Maori and Pacific Island people). Often a person will want to get help, but does not want people outside their immediate family to know that they have a gambling problem.
A similar barrier exists for people with standing in their community. A professional person that has a large client base is likely to have clients that are in the hospitality industry, or clients that service the hospitality industry. A teacher or coach is also likely to be known by people within the hospitality industry.
Positive Outlook's system addresses any potential confidentiality concern and stigma of exclusion by giving the person the option of opting-out of gambling for a period, rather than formally excluding. When a person "opts-out" rather than formally excludes, their image is included in the database and they are physically prevented by the system from game play, however a paper exclusion order and photo is not sent to the venues.
- Enables Social Access to Venues
An excluded person may wish to seek the benefit of a city wide exclusion or a national exclusion, but may also want, on the odd occasion, to visit a pub for a social or work function. A person concerned about their gambling may therefore be reluctant to proceed with a wide multi-venue exclusion.
The Positive Outlook system address this concern by having the person opt-out of their gambling rather than formally exclude. This enables the person to legally enter a hospitality venue, but still provides the necessary protection by physically preventing the person from playing the gaming machines.
- Enables Enforcement Without Criminal Punishment
Criminal prosecutions and fines for breaching exclusion orders have the potential to compound the difficulties for a person who has a problem with their gambling. Positive Outlook's system does not need to resort to criminal prosecutions, as an excluded player is physically prevented from engaging in game play due to the system automatically disabling the machine's spin buttons. Once an excluded person is detected by the system, the only buttons on the machine that will function are the collect and help buttons.
- Addresses Conflict of Player Exclusion and Revenue Generation
Positive Outlook's system addresses the conflict between player exclusion and revenue generation. The system makes detection and enforcement of exclusion orders automatic and almost instant. No longer is a lax operator able to profit from a failure to identify and remove an excluded player.
- Prompt Implementation Without Legislative Change
In contrast to traditional player tracking systems and pre-commit systems, the facial recognition based player exclusion system can be implemented in New Zealand and most other jurisdictions without any legislative change. This, coupled with the low comparative cost, means that the system can be installed throughout an entire jurisdiction in months, not years.
- One Face – Not Multiple Cards
Positive Outlook's system is more effective than traditional player tracking systems and pre-commit systems because it does not use player cards that can be swapped.
The system still works accurately if a person is wearing a hat, wig or prescription glasses. The system will disable a machine if a person attempts to avoid detection by wearing dark sunglasses.
- No Detrimental Impact on Casual and Recreational Players
Positive Outlook's system has no complicated sign up process and therefore has no detrimental impact on casual and recreational players.