Artificial Intelligence

UK is the talk of the industry in recent months, and now the country is looking to implement artificial intelligence systems to monitor fixed odds betting terminals.

Many firms in the betting industry are starting to use the system already. It’s known as the Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS) and it can be found in multiple betting outlets offering digital versions of roulette, blackjack, video poker, slots and more.

The AI will be capable of picking up whether a player is showing certain behaviors such as chasing losses, frantically placing bets, and placing excessively high bets, among other problematic gambling patterns.

If the machine picks up on any of these, it will shut down automatically and put the game on lock down for 30 seconds before the user can resume playing. This offers a “cool down” period and presents the player with messages about safer gambling. If the case is severe, the machine can also alert the venue’s manager to intervene.

The Big Gambling Clean Up

The UK’s newly established Betting and Gaming Council were the ones who came up with the idea to help self-regulate gambling in a more practical way than what has been proposed to the government so far. They are also acting as the country’ industry body in a bid to forestall the gambling crackdown.

The latest tightening of rules includes a £2 stake limit on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), as well as restrictions on credit cards used to place wagers, and a possible clampdown on loot boxes. All of these new regulations follow on from public fears that the UK is about to face a parlous “gambling epidemic.”

Even though the reduction on stakes at FOBTs is starting to prove a wise move from the government in regards to problem gamblers, for the actual betting shops and companies themselves, gaming revenues are beginning to take a drastic hit.

It’s estimated that the gross gaming revenue generated from these machines accounts for more than half of the bookies’ business in the UK. The result from the recent changes means that many of them have had to pack up shop and forfeit jobs.

Online Casinos to Get Hit

It’s not just land-based bookmakers and betting outlets which are dealing with the impacts of the latest regulation changes. The government are allegedly looking to apply similar wagering restrictions to online slot machines as well.

Head of retail gaming giant GVC, Kenny Alexander opposed this notion arguing that FOBTs and online casinos are incomparable and false because there is no unlawful market for FOBT’s. This means that limiting the stakes at online casinos would consequently push players to gamble with illegal offshore casinos and gambling sites.

Representing 90% of the UK gaming market is BGC. In an official statement, the interim chief executive, Wes Himes, said that the newly developed AI system was “an opportunity to champion the highest standards and share best practice on safe betting and gaming, and we hope these measures are a sign of intent.”

“I’m convinced that this approach can help restore public trust, and I look forward to working on further betting and gaming initiatives across the industry,” he added.

Britain is just one of the countries in Europe coming down hard on gambling operators. Other countries are also looking to promote safer gambling and raise awareness about the risks involved. Italy is now looking to ban all forms of gambling advertisements, while Spain is also in the process of tightening restrictions on gambling-related ads and sponsorship.

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.