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Online gambling preventThe world has seen an upsurge in the number of online gamers, and this has also increased the number of gamblers that are suffering from compulsive gambling issues.

The worldwide data scale gives a clear picture of the magnitude of this problem. It is estimated that gambling affects as many as 5.8% of the worldwide population.

These are not small figures, and it looks like the lockdown that was occasioned by the Covid 19 pandemic played a major role in increasing the numbers. During this time, many people were stuck in their homes with lots of free time in their hands.

In the recent past, there has been a lot of blame pegged on online casinos. These platforms have been under intense pressure from gambling regulators, and even governments, who want them to act and curb this problem once and for all.

Artificial Intelligence is one of the ways that many casino sites are hoping could help stop this problem. This innovative technology has really changed the world and with its many uses, it can also be considered as an effective method of combating problem gambling.

The question is, how can AI help prevent problem gambling?

Understanding AI?

Artificial Intelligence simply means a method that is used to create smart machines capable of executing different tasks that require human involvement.

This section of computer science is one of the most respected areas, given its huge success in revolutionising the modern world. Today, AI has been applied in many sectors including entertainment, sports, and even security.

Gone are the days when many people associated AI with some scary-looking human-shaped robots. Back then, this was common in dystopian Hollywood movies.

Today, many of us have used the likes of Alexa and Siri, self-driven cars are almost here with us, not to forget our love for entertainment, where we occasionally pick our TV show from the provided list of Netflix recommendations.

How Does AI Work?

There are a lot of similarities between the human brain, and AI. For example, before AI can effectively execute a service, it needs to be ‘taught’ and learn. This is why you will always hear of terms such as ‘machine learning’.

These machines are fed with training data, and over time, they can be able to recognise different patterns. Eventually, the machines (even without any additional software) will learn, and even go ahead to predict future events.

One of the most favourable things about AI machine learning is the fact that these machines can be able to absorb, as well as analyse a lot more data than what a human brain can achieve.

Using AI in Casinos to Tackle Gambling Addiction

Once the system has mastered these patterns, it can detect trends and identify players who exhibit these characteristics. It can identify those who it already suspects of having gambling problems. Additionally, it will also share information on those players who it expects to have problems as time goes on.

The next step in the method is for the online casino to approach the player, which has sparked heated controversy among researchers. These approaches can be challenging since some gamblers may perceive this measure to be quite invasive.

Also, they are concerned about how their personal information has been handled. For interactions to be productive, they must be done gently and professionally.

Problems Relating to the Use of AI

Using artificial intelligence to identify gambling addicts may look like the golden ticket for online casinos. And, while it's a big aid to individuals who are affected, it's not without shortcomings. A few of these challenges are ethical, regulatory, or technical:

Privacy

Data is needed for AI to learn, but there are tough regulations in place regarding player private data. While the EU has the 'General Data Protection Regulation,' the United States lacks such legislation. There are currently no regulations in place anywhere in the world that relates to AI and data.

False Positives

Regardless of how effective the AI is, there is always a hitch or two, where you often find incorrectly flagged, or missed players.

In such cases, human intervention is needed, and judgement will need to be made.

Unregulated Casinos

Many such sites are out there and they are a ticking time bomb for online gamers. The rogue casinos are not expected to embrace AI technology because it may mean more restrictions to their operations.

As a result, vulnerable players are even more subject to exploitation.

Data

It's difficult to develop historical data for AI to 'learn' from. Modern players gamble much more differently than they did seven years ago. Creating these models regularly is not only time-consuming but also costly.

Another problem with data is that some problem gamblers may hop between casinos, and without regular logins, they remain undetected by AI technology.

How AI Can Tackle Gambling Addiction

The value of this technology is to provide the necessary machine learning algorithm that ‘tells’) the AI the signs of gambling addiction. These may include things like:

  • Win and loss percentage rates
  • Total deposits made
  • Sum of unsuccessful deposits
  • Time spent betting
  • Log in periods and frequency
  • Kinds of games played
  • Sum of successful withdrawals
  • Wagering info

AI and the Future of Online Gambling Addiction?

Online gambling addictionWhen it comes to assisting online casinos minimize addiction to gambling, there is no doubt that AI is worth its weight in gold. These systems only lack the 'manpower' to ensure that all members are analysed and monitored.

However, AI must be applied responsibly, particularly when it comes to the collection of data and player privacy.

Conclusion

AI will likely get to the point where it can accurately follow gamers across several platforms in the near future. Facebook has announced that it will start applying AI technology to track its users' online behaviour to detect suicidal attitudes. Maybe this could be linked to casinos and aid with gambling problems?

However, we believe that AI in the gaming business should be treated as a good and welcome tool for preventing problem gambling and providing players with the support they require.

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