Algorithms learn to figure out which high rollers will part with the most cash.

The House Wins

Casinos in China's Macau territory have started to deploy high-tech surveillance tools to keep an eye on their customers.

But they're not worried about security. Rather, the casinos use artificial intelligence and facial recognition to spot which customers are about to hand over the most money, according to The Los Angeles Times. In a bizarre real-world version of big data analytics, sophisticated algorithms can separate casual players to more heavy-duty gamblers, which the casino can then target with free perks to keep them playing.

Chicken Dinner

The AI system can track players who are more likely to make high-risk bets — especially those who will continue to do so as they lose money — as it monitors their activity in the casino. When one of them walks in, casinos can target them to make sure they hang around for longer.

"Those who can afford to lose, those who play even more when losing money, we can for sure offer them a free meal," Macau junket operator Andrew Lo told the LA Times.

Let It Ride

Privacy advocates told the LA Times that this new casino surveillance AI could toe the line of illegal monitoring. But the casino operators and tech developers see it as just another extension of China's already ubiquitous surveillance.

"I think customers expect that their bets are being watched," said Lo, "it's just whether the casino operator knows how to make use of the data."

READ MORE: China’s casinos use these tools to spot and track the biggest potential losers [The Los Angeles Times]

More on gambling: Casinos Are Using Facial Recognition to Keep Banned Gamblers Away

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