Gambling Problems Can Be Detected from Online Behaviour
Researchers into gambling problems are beginning to believe that given enough gambling data on individuals they will be able to tell when a problem is forming and introduce steps to help prevent it.
Tony Schellinck, the co-founder of Focal Research Consultants Ltd, claims that he can detect as many as 80% of at-risk gamblers.
Schellinck said that the algorithms vary and that they involve as many as 800 variables.
Schellinck carried out his research on loyalty-card data he acquired from casinos beginning in the late 90s and discovered that those at risk often have a favourite game and don’t stop when they have just a small win or loss.
The system was used for seven years by two government operated casinos in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the system found around 2,900 individuals with issues in 2012 out of the casino’s 70,000 players. After a problem was found the casino staff were alerted and could then intervene with the gambler.
The data available from online gamblers is vast and operators are beginning to incorporate tools into their sites to help players who are showing signs of problem gambling.
As the COO of 888, Itai Frieberger, said, “There’s a very strong negative business agenda attached to problem gamblers. It’s bad for our reputation and bad for business.”