CyberSecurityRegtechSocial ImpactTechnology

Facial recognition against gambling addiction in minors

Game Addiction in Minors

A Digital Identification System, based on biometrics, specifically on facial recognition, not only helps automate and improve registering users and/or customers processes. When it is an activity non suitable for minors, it has been shown that parental controls are not entirely effective, apart from non-digital alternatives for experiencing or practicing such activity. This is the case of online gambling and gaming platforms where facial recognition turns out to be a great ally against a growing problem such as gambling addiction in minors.

Gambling Sector Evolution in Spain

Since its regulation in 2011, the gaming sector in Spain has not stopped growing. At present, with 80 operators authorized by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ), Ministry of Finance organ that exercises the functions of regulation, authorization, supervision and control of gambling activities at the state level.

According to the 2018 annual report published by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ), the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) was 699 € millions, 25.48% more than previous year. The active players number increases by 5.24% compared to 2017, reaching 1,465,129.

Within the online gambling modalities, bets have the greatest growth and share, reaching 365.1 € million, that is, 52.20% of the total online gambling. Being, sports betting, the star of this modality.

Juego Online en Cifras
Source: Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling. Online Gambling annual report 2018.
Bets, trending among teenagers

While gambling and betting are prohibited by law for minors, in practice, there are many children and adolescents who usually play.

According to different studies, 13.6% of Spanish minors usually bet. A dangerous fashion that leads them to supplant the identity of their relatives or to falsify their own identification document. Because current controls are limited to uploading a copy of an adult identification document or, in case of physical betting establishments, to the entry control.

In fact, last year, OCU introduced minors in several gambling locals to check their controls effectiveness . Of 36 locals, in 40% could be entered. In Madrid and Zaragoza it was where more obstacles were found. Only in one of each of these cities they were not asked to identify themselves. However, in Valencia or Bilbao, on the other hand, they did not found any problem.

Minors Ombudsman has also denounced this serious situation. It is a fact that young people addicted to the gambling under treatment has quadrupled in a few years, from 3.8% to 16%.

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating The Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Regulation

It is worth mentioning that gambling and online betting houses are obliged subjects according to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) Law and, as such, are obliged to implement policies, procedures and controls to ensure its compliance.

Among the regulatory requirements to which, necessarily, they have to respond, it is to identify and verify the data of people who register on their platforms. It is what is known as Know Your Customer (KYC). This knowledge of the customer does not consist only in an Identification Document (DNI, Passport, etc.) request. It must, also, be guaranteed that the person who is registering is, truly, who he claims to be. In addition, other controls should be included, such as the Screening in Sanctioned Lists.

How facial recognition helps in combating  gambling addiction in minors

Digital Identification Systems (Onboarding Digital) such as that of Araua RegTech implementation, which combine the identification document reading with facial recognition, allow online betting operators to take advantage of the available technology to confirm the identities and ages of their customers and, therefore, bet on responsible gambling.

Digital Identification Systems based on facial recognition allow:

  • Apply valid document patterns and detect fraud associated with  identification documents falsification.
  • Automatically capture data from the identification document, including the date of birth.
  • Compare, applying facial recognition techniques, the photograph of the identification document with the person connected on the other side, guaranteeing that it is really the same person.

Minors Denied  

In other countries, where there has been a boom in the participation of minors in these types of activities, such as, for example, Australia, it is choosing Digital Identification Systems based on facial recognition.

The future of our minors is at stake. Let’s bet on it.