A system and method is set forth for passively tracking the play of players playing gaming devices such as slot machines. Players provide identification information and facial recognition data is acquired as by a digital or video camera. For each player an account file and a file of the facial image data is stored. When the player plays the slot machine, a camera scans the player and acquires facial image data which is compared to stored data to identify the player. The identified player's account file is opened and data from the device representing parameters of play, e.g. amounts wagered is allocated to the identified player's account file for the purpose of providing comps and other benefits to the player. Doe image data and account files can be stored to allocate parameters for unidentified players. Further the device acquired image data can be compared with stored image data to identify undesirables such as slot cheats or the like.