How IT Technologies Will Influence the Future of Online Gambling
When the Internet became a central hub for growth and business opportunity, it made perfect sense for the gambling industry to make the leap, as well. Online gambling and gaming services cropped up seemingly everywhere.
As technology has advanced and become more capable and more efficient, so has the world of online gambling. You can, for instance, now join several mobile app communities. The availability of smartphone gaming has boosted its popularity even more, and experts expect its yearly revenues to exceed $56 billion by 2018.
But something is coming that will revolutionize the world of gambling, both online and off. What is it, you ask? Modern IT technologies such as big data, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning represent a sea change for many industries, and gaming is no exception.
In most cases, players are not going to gamble real money while playing poker or blackjack against a computer opponent. But they most certainly will train and entertain themselves using virtual opponents, which makes for an excellent experience.
Thanks to machine learning and big data, AI opponents can now best humans even at the most unexpected of activities, such as chess, League of Legends and more. It was only a matter of time before such a thing happened in the world of gaming. Wouldn’t you know it, four poker pros recently went up against an AI opponent named Libratus, and after playing 120,000 hands, it held the high stack.
A system like this could be used for many things, on both sides of the equation. Players could use it to hone their skills, while the house could use it to boost their earnings.
Help Fight Addiction
Gambling is meant to be fun, win or lose. However, gambling addiction is very real, and thousands of people have lost their livelihoods at a gaming table. Unfortunately, online gambling is not exempt from this problem. In fact, you could argue online gambling makes it more accessible and easier to fall into.
To combat this issue, AI and machine learning platforms can help detect early warning signs of problem gambling before the individual involved falls into its throes. Kindred Group, City University of London and BetBuddy have partnered to develop a new system to detect and take action when it identifies problem gambling patterns. The resulting tool is called PS-EDS, or Player Safety Early Detection System.
The partners hope to cut down on budding gaming addictions before they become full-fledged. The team believes they can predict problematic gambling with up to 87 percent accuracy.
Identifying and Preventing Cheaters
In real casinos, it is much easier to spot a cheater or someone who’s running a scam. Online, that’s not always the case, especially since you cannot see who’s on the other side of a connection. What makes matters worse is that it’s possible to create bots or algorithmic tools that will systematically win at online gaming. This technology is starting to bleed over into real-world casinos, too.
While third-party tools are an advantage to online gaming over the traditional kind, many casinos are worried — and for good reason — that people will use modern AI tools to cheat the system. Conversely, AI and machine learning can also help identify and prevent gambling cheating and fraud.
Smart Data for Smarter Improvements
Another benefit of big data and machine learning systems — especially in retail and e-commerce — is that experts can use them to discern insights and patterns. Casinos could take advantage of this technology to craft the kinds of alluring experiences customers love. What makes certain players flock to a particular slot machine or game table, for instance?
The accumulated data and insights could have many practical applications, obviously. Some casinos might use the information to boost their profits, while others might use it to improve the gaming experience for players. Another casino may choose to home in on something more specific, such as what drinks a player enjoys when they play certain games.
Expect to see big data used for these ends considerably in the near future. For that matter, expect to see all these technologies become more prominent over the coming years.