New AI Early Warning System “Most Sophisticated Yet” at Spotting Problem Gamblers

New Artificial Intelligence For Problem Gamblers

New technology has been developed using A.I. to spot problem gamblers. (Image:

New strides are being made in technology that seeks to identify problem gamblers from their behavioral patterns on online gaming websites.

Many licenced online gaming sites already employ sophisticated algorithms designed to flag-up customers who may be at risk of gambling addiction, but this week there was news of a project that claims to be the most effective yet.

It’s a joint effort by online gambling data analytics firm BetBuddy and City University London, which aims to enhance the accuracy of the computer models while bringing them in line with the most contemporary understanding of the psychological pathways to gambling addiction.

The new “early warning system,” which will allow online gambling companies to safeguard its customers against problem gambling, first identifies whether a user’s gambling patterns are exhibiting indicators of risk, and them matches those patterns against a huge database of those of players who have self-excluded from gambling sites in the past.

Random Forests

The team found that by enhancing an AI machine-learning method known as “Random Forests” and then applying it to the most up-to-date knowledge of gambling psychology has resulted in a system that can spot problems with an 87 percent accuracy.

“Although systems of this kind are already in use, none are believed to have published peer-reviewed research that evidences the same levels of accuracy and reliability as the BetBuddy system, said Dr Artur Garcez of the City University London. 

“Early detection and prevention of problem gambling is not only in the interest of those who engage in online gambling,” he added. “It can also help deliver a more stable and growing market place for online gambling providers.”

Gambling-related Harm

Meanwhile, the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) has launched a yearlong research programme that seeks to explore and define “gambling related harm” in the UK.  The research is fully independent and free from industry influence.

“Recent thinking in this field has turned attention from problem gambling to the wider question of gambling-related harm,” said RGT chief executive Marc Etches. “In line with the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s interest in this concept, RGT is keen to enable ground-breaking research into this important question.

“We also expect this work will help to inform discussions around gambling-related harm as a public health issue,” he added.

The online gambling industry in the UK was recently warned by the gambling regulator that it must embrace responsible gambling or face a backlash that will restrict its development and innovation.

Unless it is able to convince the public that it can be trusted on the responsible gambling, it will face stricter governmental controls that will ultimately curtail growth, warned Matthew Hill, director of regulatory risks and analysis at the UK Gambling Commission.

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