The use of AI in the regulated gambling sector
Betting is an activity that involves the prediction of an uncertain future event, and the money you bet is based on the probability that you think that event will or will not happen. The area of regulated gambling is an ideal testing ground for AI. AI works by collecting data, which allows to analyze statistics and events to continuously improve its accuracy.
The gaming industry relies heavily on the exploitation of historical data to anticipate future outcomes and behavior. It’s therefore a fundamental skill and necessary for game design, odds setting, risk management, customer profiling, optimization of bonus programmes and fraud detection.
The correct identification of the probability of the occurrence of an event Following the increasing national regulation, at European and non-European levels of the gambling sector, analysts working in this sector and who define the probability of the occurrence of an event – from which it is then possible to set the odds to be offered on the market - need to equip themselves with tools that allow the analysis of a large amount of data.
In this regard, reference is not exclusively to the classic cases of probability that a team win a certain competition or event. But, for instance, in the context of real-time betting, it could prove particularly useful to calculate the speed and trajectories of the players on the field to predict in real time and in advance the occurrence of a goal, so as to correctly update the live odds during an event.
The most innovative data analyzed by the sports betting industry includes the fitness and past performance of a player, the weather conditions before a given event, the environmental factors of the venue and the event and the growth prospects of a club.
This data-driven approach allows bookmakers to identify trends and game statistics of the game that can be used to establish the odds of each possible outcome and, therefore, the odds that will be offered to customers.
This allows bookmakers to establish the most accurate odds and to offer more competitive odds to their customers.
Responsible gaming and the identification of fraud
Just as AI facilitates the creation of new products for gambling, it can act as a safeguard to counteract the negative effects of the industry. In the context of responsible gaming legislation, there are rather traditional practices to prevent the risks of players. They are in fact based on the gaming behavior of players who have cancelled and self-excluded. AI can play an important role in the interaction with customers, in particular in maximizing the experience of the players in areas such as customer service, which is very useful in detecting, but especially preventing, problem gambling.
The rationale behind this is that new technologies go a step further in tracking and assessing each customer, accumulating a large amount of behavioral data. Through AI trained with the behavioral data of known problem gamblers, companies can automatically identify and indicate a customer with a risk of problem gambling, even if still at an early stage, so it can monitor patterns and intervene promptly stopping their operations before the gaming activity becomes problematic. Players who receive personalized feedback on their gaming behavior measured in terms of time spent and money spent, are more likely to modify their gaming behavior, compared to those who do not receive personalized feedback and who individually decide to self-suspend or limit themselves.
In a different respect, AI can use machine learning techniques to analyze historical data for betting histories, odds information, and players’ gaming patterns to categorize anomalous abnormal betting patterns and irregularities that could indicate the presence of fraud. For instance, AI may be able to detect a betting pattern that seems irrational or suspicious, such as a large number of bets on an unlikely outcome or a large volume of bets on a match in an unknown league.
The use of AI to detect fraud in betting can also improve the reputation of the sports betting industry. When players know that the industry uses advanced technologies to prevent fraud, they are more likely to bet safely and confidently.
Therefore, the real revolution in the world of betting involves using predictive AI tools to promote responsible gaming, limit fraud, prevent moneylaundering phenomena and match-fixing cases. While such tools have already been in use for bookmakers for a couple of years to identify odds and develop new products and services, it will be up to national regulatory authorities to work in concert with operators to ensure the lawfulness and supervision of betting events.