Looking ahead: how AI and data science will influence the future of gambling

Looking ahead: how AI and data science will influence the future of gambling

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The gambling industry has been widely celebrated for its ability to adapt to emerging consumer trends and adopt innovative technologies. The most successful operators have facilitated a smooth shift from the physical to the digital world. Mobile gaming, in particular, is increasingly popular with millennials, thanks to the ubiquity of the technology.

There is no doubt, then, that the hottest trends in consumer tech – artificial intelligence, virtual reality and data science – will impact the gambling scene ahead of the curve. The more pertinent question is: how? What effects will these emerging technologies have on betting in the future?

Acapture has launched a white paper this week entitled Consumer Technology and the Future of Online Gambling which can be downloaded here. Take a look at some of the issues discussed.

Acapture White Paper

Data is money

Today’s consumers leave behind a constant trail of information about their browsing behavior, shopping preferences, social interaction and much more. Businesses, in response, are focusing more and more on data, allowing them to optimize their marketing efforts and offer increasingly personalized experiences. In 2016, the worldwide data market was worth $23.8 billion. By the end of 2017, this figure will be closer to $43.3 billion.

Data will be instrumental to the future of gambling, and industry leaders are investing vast sums of money and resources in data analysts and technical experts. In an industry based on statistics and mathematical probability, it is no surprise that successfully tapping the reams of personal information will give gambling operators a huge advantage.

But if data is the vehicle that carries the gambling sector into the future, AI is firmly behind the wheel. Where the human brain may experience information overload, AI pulls out patterns, trends and advanced learning techniques. Sophisticated AI software bridges the gap between the mounting volumes of data and the ability to garner intelligible insights from it.

More accuracy and better odds

Gambling is an industry that relies heavily on analytics to generate odds for betters. Data sits behind these statistics, and with the correct intelligence software, operators can analyze scoring patterns and deliver far more realistic odds to their players.

It’s not only the gambling operators utilizing data for their own insights. Sharkscope is an online database that crawls the internet to collect and analyze online poker data on a daily basis, to provide up-to-date player and tournament statistics to players. With more information at their fingertips, players can make more educated decisions and increase their own chances of winning.

Bots versus brains

Data intelligence may improve the odds for betters, but this advantage comes at a price. Thanks to the insights garnered through mountains of data, coupled with the ability to continually learn and adapt to its human opponent, AI has repeatedly defeated even the most skilled poker players.

Earlier this year, pro-poker stars such as Jimmy Chou, Dong Kim and Daniel McAuley played against an AI bot created by professors and students from Carnegie Mellon University, and lost consistently across 120,000 hands of Texas Hold’em.

If bots can be created with the sole purpose of defeating human players in games like poker, as well as delivering reliably accurate sports predictions, the online gambling industry could be thrown into flux, altering prices and margins offered by bookmakers.

Eliminating addiction

In the past, the gambling industry has faced controversy. AI, as well as offering better insight on odds, is a means to fight the issues around addiction and problem gambling. By analyzing critical factors that are common amongst problem gamblers and identifying red flags, packages such as BetBuddy can recognize players that could be at risk of addiction in order to provide help before the addiction becomes too severe.

Tackling addiction issues and cleaning up problems through AI will allow the entire industry to shake off any lingering negativity in the future.

Virtual casinos attract millennials

With heavy investment in VR in the gambling sector, many see this as the next defining trend. Fully immersive experiences allow operators to move players into the digital world with limitless possibilities, and capture the younger millennial market. The UK Gambling Commission estimates that the number of gambling 18-34 year olds has grown from 10% in 2008 to 18% to date, so interest from this demographic is clearly on the up.

These digital natives, who grew up with video games and consoles in their homes, are unlikely to enter a physical casino or play via desktop, but are already more engaged in mobile gambling than their older peers. VR will only amplify this growing trend, bringing more exciting and innovative industry experiences to the demographic representing 50% of the workforce today.

Emerging technologies are impacting the gambling industry in numerous ways, some with positive implications, and others raising concerns for players and operators. What is certain is that the gambling landscape will shift significantly between now and 2020, and operators that keep up with innovation and consumer trends will reap the rewards.

To find out more about how the 5 biggest consumer tech trends will shape the online gambling sector between now and 2020, download Acapture’s free white paper here.

Acapture will be at iGaming Supershow, to arrange a meeting with a gambling expert contact Maarten van der Schaaf by clicking here or Tel: +31615177676.

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