Will Artificial Intelligence Eradicate Gambling Addiction?

Will Artificial Intelligence Eradicate Gambling Addiction?

March 22, 2016.

Gambling addiction is a serious thing. We’re big on playing responsibly, and we want to make sure that everyone can take their losses in stride. That’s why we’re so interested in this new technology from City University London that claims to detect bad gambling behaviors before they turn into a full-fledged disorder.

Meet BetBuddy

Teams at City University London have successfully computerized years of the latest research into how gambling problems develop. Their goal? To be able to create an algorithm that predicts whether a person is susceptible to becoming a gambling addict. They’ve teamed up with the staff at BetBuddy to work on a way of incorporating this into online gaming platforms.

BetBuddy has already been a major force in the i-gaming industry for a few months now. The software is currently mostly operator-oriented: casino management can see the different types of player risk and their prevalence in real-time.

But now, BetBuddy has reached a new milestone: artificial intelligence.

Seeking out problems before they start

This latest version of BetBuddy is one of the most advanced things to ever come out of the i-gaming industry. It takes advantage of a whole slew of cutting-edge technologies like neural networks, random forests, and Bayesian networks to track gaming patterns and determine whether a player is reaching a problematic level of gaming.

What can operators do with this information? Well, quite a bit actually. According to the BetBuddy website, “Even though BetBuddy is using advanced mathematical techniques to predict accurately those players at risk of harm, the solution displays the key points driving a player’s risk score to the operator, enabling staff to better support their customers.”

BetBuddy is using advanced mathematical techniques to predict accurately those players at risk of harm

This simplified approach to a very complex algorithm makes it possible for operators to make custom changes to player accounts in real-time based on their behavior. It’s particularly useful for making the most out of built-in responsible gaming controls, prompting players to take advantage of this technology. Operators can even automatically suspend accounts engaging in increasingly problematic behavior.

What about personal responsibility?

The new version of BetBuddy is already rolling out, and there’s no telling just how prevalent it will become. But while the ability to predict gambling problems before they start is valuable, there’s another issue at play: personal responsibility.

When people log into an online casino, they want to have fun, let loose, and see what happens. For the vast majority of players, this works perfectly. And while many people find things like cool down periods useful every now and then, only about 3% of players ever develop a gambling problem.

So what do you think? Do BetBuddy’s benefits for preventing problem gambling outweigh its potential intrusiveness? Sound off in the comments or over in our forum!