How AI Is Being Used to Solve Gambling Addiction
Gambling is a hobby that millions of people around the globe enjoy, frequently or infrequently, in different forms. While its popularity has sky-rocketed in recent decades, many are still wary of engaging or overindulging in it due to the byproducts it can produce, primarily financial ruin, battered emotional health, and getting outcast socially. While most people have no problem controlling their urges concerning betting fun, some do. And the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classifies this type of impulse control issue as an addictive disorder.
Gambling addiction is the uncontrollable desire that a person has to keep wagering, despite such individuals being aware of the harmful consequence this activity has on multiple facets of their well-being. Yet, they cannot stop themselves from partaking in it because this activity stimulates their brain’s reward system identically to how alcohol and drugs do. According to 2020 statistics published by the National Council on Problem Gambling. Around two million adults in the US can become labeled as problem gamblers. And another four to six million struggle with it in a less expressed way.
The wide availability of gaming locales and sites that offer gambling services has exacerbated this societal headache in most countries. However, now, AI technology is coming to help. Below, we explain how.
How AI Can Help Lower Gambling Addiction Rates
Though many may argue that it is in gambling operators’ best interest to have people overspend when they hit the gaming floor, that is not so. Like every other business, casinos need a steady stream of customers to sustain themselves. Thus, they want players to be thriving, healthy, and able to pay their bills so they can come back another time after a session has not gone their way. If most of their customers spend loads of money once and then disappear, that is not something they can build long-term plans on going forward.
Hence, it is in their favor to have responsible gambling measures in place, which is something that many gaming corporations are developing.
Mindway AI, a company that originated from a lab at Aarhus University, is one entity exploring the AI gambling addiction field many operators are looking at and its developing technology. Mindway AI has created a software system (GameScanner), which uses AI algorithms evolved with the help of psychologists to spot problem gambling behavior. It evaluates fourteen different risk factors on a scale of one to one hundred. These include erratic changes in wagering patterns and shifts in the time of day a player is gambling. Aggregating scores from all fourteen categories, Mindway AI’s software creates a risk assessment profile for each analyzed player. The two ends of this spectrum are green. Meaning a gambler is doing fine. And red, an alert that problem gambling behavior has become detected and that the observed player must stop betting immediately.
So far, gambling giants Entain and Flutter Entertainment have teamed up with Mindway AI and so have multiple operators from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany.
Even though Mindway AI’s solution may seem novel to some, casino operators from Macau have used facial-recognition technology via hidden cameras and chips with radio-frequency-identification technology to track potential player collaboration for years. The main problem with AI-powered gambling addiction detection tech is explaining the results to players. And convincing them to step away.
How Online Casinos Promote Responsible Gambling
Despite what many uninformed people may think, internet gaming sites do not do everything in their power to hook players and keep them active on their platforms. Online gaming regulators mandate licensees to promote responsible gaming, and many obligate their operators to enforce strict anti-addiction measures. For example, UK-based sites licensed by the UKGC cannot allow auto-play functions, and each slot spin on these platforms must happen two and a half seconds after the previous one.
Some top-rated online casino sites also allow players to set session-warning limits, plus deposit and loss ones. Once these caps become met. A notice will appear on a gambler’s screen informing him that he has met his set limits. And should stop playing. If he feels an uncontrollable desire to keep going. He can activate a self-exclusion ban that will restrict him from accessing the site for a predetermined period. Note that a once-initiated self-exclusion cannot get canceled.
How VR Tech Is Contributing to Stopping Problem Gambling
Multiple institutions have researched VR use as a potential tool in the treatment of gambling addiction. The most famous of these is a paper published in 2017. One hat summarizes three separate Canadian studies that prove that VR and gaming in 3D environments can induce gambling cravings similar to real betting. Also, VR can become used to elicit clinically relevant info about patients’ thoughts and behaviors when gambling. Written in collaboration with online gambling experts.