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Casino gaming and sports wagering have seen a resurgence due to several states adopting measures to permit online sports betting and other games of chance. With several sports-based wagering digital platforms heavily advertising within pop culture, the American Gaming Association reported commercial sports betting revenue exceeded $7 billion in 2022, while Statista stated U.S. casinos grossed over $60 billion. As casinos continue adopting digital platforms and methodologies to expand player accessibility, calls for utilizing the same software-based resources to promote responsible gaming have grown louder. Software specialists are leveraging and enhancing Artificial Intelligence and data analytics to empower on-site casinos and digital platforms to effectively identify and proactively monitor behaviors associated with ‘problem gambling’ that can prove harmful to patrons.
The National Council on Problem Gaming (NCPG) has stated the unprecedented accessibility of casino gaming and digital sports wagering presents a new challenge for individuals struggling with gambling addiction, which has been officially diagnosed as a chronic mental health disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. There have not been calls to abolish digital sports wagering and casino platforms but for new strategies to assist individuals struggling with gambling addiction. Technology has been used to galvanize the casino industry, reinforced by record-breaking revenues, but can it also be utilized to promote responsible casino gaming?
The casino industry endured several roadblocks during its initial campaign to implement digital gaming. Advocates alleged the new accessibility would exacerbate the nation’s already troubling gambling addiction challenges, as The North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help reported up to 10 million individuals struggle with some gambling habit. Skilled software developers have collaborated with on-site casinos with the shared goal of effectively promoting responsible casino gaming.
Experts have leveraged Artificial Intelligence to accurately compile data and identify nuances and patterns overlooked by manual data monitoring and entry. When deployed within digital casino platforms, AI identifies behavior associated with compulsive gambling and can restrict wagers and limit playing time on digital platforms. This system has been used in UK casinos to automatically restrict and even lock out patrons from gaming machines that exhibit problem gambling traits. Artificial Intelligence can create player profiles, assess habitual and compulsive gamblers, and automatically alert operators which player profiles pose the greatest risk when data experts implement data analytics.
Data analytics optimized with AI probes casino patron behavior deeper with unprecedented insights into player behavior. What makes data analytics invaluable? It has an unparalleled ability to automatically compile, monitor, and study data-driven information and provide end users with accurate forecasts of future outcomes remains. Implemented within casino gaming, data analytics automatically tracks how long patrons spend playing casino games, wager amounts, and frequency. With these resources, casinos can proactively intervene and mitigate issues surrounding patrons who exhibit behaviors associated with problem gambling.
Government officials have realized the impacts of unmitigated gambling addiction and the recent collaboration of the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and The State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General yielded a tech-based strategy to further implement safeguards within casinos and digital-based gaming platforms.
The Responsible Gaming Initiative touts a tech-based intervention to confront problem gambling and the program’s utilization of data analytics is reportedly setting a precedent for being the first state edict using software technology to confront problem gambling behavior. The Division of Gaming Enforcement stated they will be leveraging and adopting data analytics to educate and collaborate with online casino platforms to identify, monitor, and reduce actions associated with problem gambling patrons. This marks a major step forward in reducing the stigma surrounding gambling addiction as a mental health disorder officially recognized by the healthcare industry.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement has set specific parameters alerting gaming officials to what problem gambling behavior is defined as. Target behaviors include increase in gambling activity from week to week, patrons placing wagers with less than one dollar in accounts, and patrons who access self-exclusion pages on casino operator websites without executing an exclusion. Self-exclusion is defined by The State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General as an individual self-reporting their gambling addiction to gaming authorities or casino platforms and voluntarily ceasing gambling activities. The Atlantic City self-exclusion program was enacted in 2001.
The collaboration of DGE and New Jersey’s attorney general office seeks to create a targeted outreach strategy for casinos and digital gambling platforms to better manage patrons exhibiting gambling addiction behaviors. DGE stated they will be reliant on data-driven decisions to gauge the effectiveness of The Responsible Gaming Initiative.
Predictive analytics and Artificial Intelligence are the newest resources to enable proactive strategies to address and reduce gambling addiction. The digital landscape of casino wagering has stretched globally, and officials continue to seek new avenues in mitigating addiction while growing revenue streams. Responsible gaming has since extended beyond the individual and gaming personnel, officials, and law enforcement branches continuing to collaborate to protect the lucrative revenue casino gaming generates while balancing these revenue streams with tech-based solutions to enable responsible gaming without overregulation that could damage the gaming industry. Commercial sports betting continues earning substantial revenue, and its global reach is growing, thanks to cutting-edge technology. Still, as healthcare officials and law enforcement continue to formally recognize gambling addiction as a chronic mental health disorder, we must also leverage tech-based resources to help mitigate the challenges this disorder brings. Customized solutions providing optimal AI-driven capabilities can be built and implemented with the help of expert developers experienced with gaming industry solutions.
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