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Betting Companies to Use AI to Identify Problem Gamblers

by Glenn Baird - November 19, 2019

Betting companies in the UK will be installing AI software into gaming machines so that they can identify behaviours that single players out as problem gamblers.

The software, known as The Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS), keeps checks on player behaviour, looking for patterns that could identify them as problem gamblers. If such behaviours are spotted then the player will be denied access to the machine for at least 30 seconds whilst a manager is altered to the situation.

The plan is to introduce the AI to all betting machines in bookies across Britain, with the possibility to expand further within the industry.

BGC (British Gambling Council) interim chief executive, Wes Himes has said: “I see this as an opportunity to champion the highest standards and share best practice on safe betting and gaming and we hope these measures are a sign of intent.

“I’m convinced that this approach can help restore public trust and I look forward to working on further betting and gaming initiatives across the industry.

“Even if the responsibility were put solely on the punter, a subsequent impact will certainly be felt in the lives of over-stretched, and often poorly paid, staff in bookies.

“The violence associated with these machines is a worrying trend and I hope this will not lead to a degradation in worker’s experiences who often pay the price for decisions made in boardrooms.”

In an attempt to explain more about the technology a spokesperson for the BGC said: “The algorithm tracks a range of factors to determine when an individual is at risk of harm.

“This includes erratic play, chasing losses, speed of play and time spent on the machine, therefore the alert and ‘cooling off’ period could be triggered at almost any time during play. It is specific to the individual playing the machine.”