Gambling industry uses AI to keep players playing

You have gambling and then you have gambling . Nobody looks at it when you play online online bingo or let some money roll in an online casino (and it turns out that women do that more often than men ), but in Great Britain it now appears that a number of people who take their gambling seriously and do it through an (online) bookie are manipulated to the brim by the sites that make it possible to gamble on the outcome of sports competitions, say The Guardian .

Insiders have told the newspaper anonymously what that branch of the industry is doing and that is not fresh. For example, AI is being used to profile the customers of the sites and to be able to predict their behavior, with terribly good results. People sometimes wonder how they can be targeted so well and specifically and that is not surprising, says a former marketeer at such a company. It has everything to do with what they all agree with when they sign up.

The sector uses a lot of third parties to harvest the data of users and there are apparently e-mail lists with more than 100,000 addresses there of people who have stopped gambling or are on a low income and therefore would be susceptible to for the sector. These are used in combination with other data to create detailed customer profiles so that they can now be optimally approached with the help of artificial intelligence .

It goes even further: another application that is being tested is to locate people on the basis of their mobile. For example, if they enter a stadium they could receive messages that would encourage them to take a chance on the match they are going to watch. Big data is used in all sorts of ways to keep people who have ever indicated interest in pursuing.


Now it is true that from May 25th the GDPR comes into effect, and then it is no longer enough just to have the small print that you as a user agree to donate your firstborn if you lose too much. After the end of this month, there needs to be a legitimate marketing interest for profiling, and unambiguous consent. In addition, we also look at the impact on a person of the profiling and if there is a sector where the impact can be large, it is here.

Many of the practices described above will no longer be allowed, but then of course the data must be looked at. Until now, that has not been done at all, says former marketer ‘Asif’. There was never an overview in the data and he thinks that the gambling companies will not just improve their lives. He receives support from a spokesman for [CampaignforFairerGambling: “Big data is exploited in a cynical way to target vulnerable consumers, if you believe that these companies use user data for socially responsible purposes, then you are just naive. ” As a consumer you have to pay particular attention: it is not a bad idea to take a chance online, but it is certainly worthwhile to read very well at such a site before you click on ‘agree’.

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