Macau Implements Facial Recognition Casino ATMs


Due to the rise in the number of Macau’s suspicion transaction reports, facial recognition casino ATMs have been put into effect. This is to assist in monitoring transactions which could be potential money laundering schemes.


Casino ATMs – How It Will Work

The first to use this software will be China UnionPay Co. It will require customers to stare into a camera for 6 seconds. Customers will need to insert their card and PIN as normal, the machine will then request to scan their ID card, and a photo will be taken. The facial recognition software will then verify the customer’s identity – thus monitoring their transactions.


Keeping Tabs on Capital Outflows

These casino ATMs will assist in curbing suspicious transactions. Last year, the number of Suspicious Transactions Reports (STR) were on the rise by over a quarter. A report by Macau’s Financial Intelligence Office (GIF), showed that there were 2 321 STR’s in 2016 which is a 28,4% increase from the previous year. Of the reported STR’s, only 240 were sent to the Public Prosecution Office.


At the time of writing, 680 casino ATMs in Macau are able to perform these scans; the expected number is 1 200. This is a revolutionary positive for Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols.


What This Means for Macau’s Gambling Industry

The last month has seen Macau’s casino gambling industry obtain its largest gain in three years. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said that in May, there was a rise of almost 24%.

Data compiled by Bloomberg shows that the People’s Bank of China enforced controls as money leaving China last year was nearly 7 billion Patacas.


Managing director of Accuity Inc. says “This is aimed at illicit outflows of capital from China. It’s aimed at people drawing out money in Macau, going to the casino, betting very little, getting forex from there and moving it.”


The software that will be used for this facial recognition technology has not been revealed by the ATM manufacturer. This is due to a non-disclosure agreement imposed by the Macau government.