Churchills Sports Bar has introduced a new facial recognition (FR) solution, Imagus software from Vix Vizion, at the front desk, which monitors people entering the club.

The Imagus solution’s primary function is to detect individuals who have placed themselves on the self-exclusion list if they attempt to enter the premises. It is also designed to deter theft from the club’s bottle shop, and provide a fast and easy means of identifying patrons who have been barred from the venue due to social behaviour, and thus creating a more harmonious environment for patrons, families and staff.

Self-exclusion is a voluntary program designed to curb damaging behaviours in individuals who have trouble with excessive gambling. It applies to both online gambling sites and gaming venues, and offers a means for problem gamblers to make sure they do not place themselves in situations where they are likely to lapse, and overspend on gaming machines or sports gambling.

As part of the free program, individuals can choose which venues, casinos or websites to be excluded from, then sign a deed listing the venues they agree not to enter for a minimum period. If venue staff see them in the gaming area of the venue, they will report the individual to the program and ask them to leave. At the end of the agreed period of the deed, the individual can choose to self-exclude for another period or apply to re-enter the gaming area of a venue.

Clubs are therefore required to recognise listed individuals as they enter the venue, and monitor their movements around the club to ensure they do not enter the gaming room or sports bars. In some cases an individual might be on the list for up to five years, which makes policing of these rules difficult for staff.

The club has also contended with occasional theft, especially from the internal bottle shop, and like all venues is occasionally compelled to remove and ban individuals for repeated antisocial behaviour.

Churchills Sports Bar has the added complication of multiple entry-points, with six distinct points where patrons can enter and exit the premises. These are all now monitored and protected by the networked video solution, integrated with Vix Vizion’s Imagus Facial Recognition.

The Imagus solution uses Facial Recognition technology to automatically identify listed individuals as they enter Churchills, sending an alert to staff and allowing them to discreetly interact with the individual to make sure they follow the rules they have set themselves.

“The Imagus Facial Recognition software takes guesswork out of the equation, and allows staff to instantly pick up if a listed or banned individual enters the premises,” said Walter Alberti, owner of Meridion Audio Visual & Security, whose company designed and deployed the solution. “This reduces the burden on staff to recognise people individually, and it helps us stop people slipping through the cracks and reverting to damaging behaviour.”

Churchills Sports Bar has an advanced network of IP-enabled video cameras, which run on a Milestone Systems XProtect video management software (VMS) platform. Imagus software was chosen for the facial recognition solution due to its ability to integrate with the open Milestone Systems platform.

“Imagus is a leading FR solution, and integrates very well with the existing technology that the club has deployed,” said Alberti. “It works seamlessly, providing the clarity and advanced analytic features that the club needs in order to maintain a safe, friendly environment at Churchills and ensure the club’s duty of care to all patrons.”

According to Brett Hansen, country manager at Milestone Systems, this type of solution is fast becoming popular in licenced clubs, and is a very positive way of using Facial Recognition technology.

“It makes life easier for staff and is a powerful tool for enhancing social responsibility,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fraser Larcombe of Vix Vizion said the team was seeing more and more licenced clubs moving towards Facial Recognition technology.

“They seek to help their patrons, and our great working partnership with Meridion, combined with full integration into Milestone’s XProtect, helps club maintain their duty of care as well as maintain a harmonious environment for patrons to enjoy.”

The Imagus platform is a leader in the facial recognition space, due to advanced intelligence built into the software. This provides users with the capability to not just automatically recognise individuals, but also make associations between them and people they may have entered the premises with in the past, map out patterns of behaviour that can lead to damaging situations, and generally analyse video footage to maximise the positive benefits it can bring to a licenced premises.

According Jim Christis, chief operating officer at Vix Vizion, facial recognition has the power to make a surveillance system much more effective, and to make life easier for staff in a busy retail or hospitality environment.

“A powerful software solution like Imagus, which integrates with video and analytics platforms, can perform all sorts of useful functions and help improve safety, security and efficiency in a wide variety of situations,” he said.

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