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Associate Member Highlight: Biometrica

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Imagine this: You’re on the surveillance team in an Iowa casino. You’re watching a man, and there’s something off about him, but you don’t quite know what. It’s just instinct. You take a quick picture, run it against Biometrica’s UMbRA database, and find out in 30 seconds that he has an arrest history in Florida, Ohio and Indiana for drug dealing and aggravated assault, and is wanted for missing a court date. You inform local law enforcement, call for backup, and have him politely escorted off the floor with no fuss.

An Age-Old Problem

Imagine if this had been possible in a different age, when organized crime syndicates ran riot and casinos were under heavy scrutiny for not doing enough to prevent unsavory characters from waltzing through their doors. All they had at their disposal was a little blacklist.

Incidentally, Louis Thomas Fratto, reported to have been the head of the notorious Chicago Outfit’s Iowa faction from 1939 onward, never made it to Nevada’s famous “Black Book,” but several other mobsters did. They all came to Vegas, from places like Los Angeles, New Jersey, Chicago and Kansas City, and in 1960, 11 of them had their names written down in the original list of persons who were to be excluded from casinos.

This was a list of people — mob bosses and enforcers, murderers, drug dealers, bookmakers, racketeers — that Nevada’s Gaming Commission officials believed had a “notorious and unsavory reputation,” one that would “adversely affect public confidence and trust that the gaming industry is free from criminal or corruptive elements.” The Nevada Gaming Commission, along with the State Gaming Control Board, was set up at the end of the ‘50s to curb the excesses of “Sin City,” which they believed had been overrun by people from the New York and Chicago mobs.

A New Age Solution

Twenty years ago, Biometrica was born to be a modern-day, hi-tech version of that Black Book — to help casinos protect their assets, maintain compliance and integrity, and build new age systems to catch card cheats and advantage players. With the September release of UMbRA, our latest product, we’ve taken crime-fighting and asset protection to a whole new level. See UMbRA on youtube!

Umbra, generally speaking, refers to the darkest part of a shadow. In the Biometrica world, UMbRA stands for Unique Mission to Build Records and Arrests — a search engine connected to a 100% law-enforcement-sourced multijurisdictional database of people who have been arrested, convicted of a crime, or wanted by law enforcement in connection with one.

This database is also integrated with the same facial recognition system used by the US Department of Defense, so you can search for someone by a text search, like how you do a Google search, or by uploading a face and running it against our facial recognition system. UMbRA provides an answer to you on whether someone you’re searching for has a criminal record in our system in about 30 seconds. It’s really that quick and that easy, and it’s even available on your mobile device.

We conceptualized UMbRA after speaking to various law enforcement professionals and realizing that one of the major problems they had was easy access to multijurisdictional data on criminals in real-time or on the go. Crime and criminals are on the move, but access to information on them doesn’t travel as easily. UMbRA is designed to provide this access with no hassle.

How UMbRA Works


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