Innovations in Gambling Technology and the Impact on Addiction

Computer experts checking data
As technology innovations grow, so do the responsibilities for gambling operators.

30-Second Summary

  • New technology paves the way to identifying vulnerable players
  • Online gambling and casinos aid fight against gambling addiction
  • 2 million addicted gamblers in the US

While gambling addiction is well-known, the advancements that technology can play are less so. Here’s a look at what is out there to help gamblers, with or without an addiction.

Easy to identify

The first thing to look at is new software, along with the use of marketing analytics already established in casinos, and how they help to identify vulnerable players. Mindful gambling is certainly a buzzword this year.

The main problem here is the rise of smartphones, which offer 24/7 access to games similar to those you would find in an establishment.

With sports betting recently legalized in several US states, gambling is growing among both males and females. In just the past week, it has been reported that around 15 percent of the US adult population has gambled.

For four to eight million Americans, this is becoming a problem, directly impacting their financial status, social life, job, and related aspects. Another 1 percent of the population – two million people – are classified as “pathological” gamblers. For those people, gambling has become an addiction. That’s why a lot of casinos are using advanced analytics, developed for marketing purposes, in order to determine whether a person may be addicted to gambling.

Advanced analytics

Advanced analytics have already been successful in identifying addicted gamblers by recognizing patterns after they have already developed, but that doesn’t solve the problem of compulsive gambling to deter the addiction before it kicks in.

Now a company based in the UK, BetBuddy, has designed an app called PowerCrunch. It analyzes every player and uses machine learning and data mining to determine a risk score.

Veikkaus offers a similar option, which builds a customer profile based on an individual’s gaming transaction. By analyzing patterns of previously addicted gamblers, it determines issues linked to addictive gambling, as well as the type of person who is predisposed to addiction.

As companies such as these investigate relevant research, including social media, customer responses and even weather patterns, their accuracy levels of deducing harmful behavior in players in advance have improved greatly.

Shutting down suggestive advertisements

Some companies have taken a more direct approach to combat addictive gambling behavior in their customers by using their marketing data to determine who not to advertise to. This prevents any advertising material going to such people and substitutes an advertising banner to steer the addicted customer towards a healthier alternative.

The company also has the option to send a notification to the customer. Like most businesses, however, they don’t wish to completely deter the customer who may just move on to another website. Rather than labeling the customer as having a problem with gambling, the site can ask if they would like to enable session limits or loss limits in the form of pop-up notifications.

The company also has the option to shut the user’s account down completely in extreme cases.

Innovations in gambling

The fight against compulsive and addicted gamblers is still a relatively recent cause for casinos and online betting sites. As the research and interest in this area increases, the real-world effects will become more evident. Already gambling organizations are thrilled with the success.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation tested PowerCrunch and reported that nine out of ten customers were impressed by the software and its ability to allow them to control their gambling practices.

With gambling companies onboard to aid vulnerable players, the game becomes less stigmatized and the opportunity to play in a safe environment is improved.


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