Image via BGC India

Fixing The Odds?

The gambling industry is increasingly using AI to predict consumer habits and personalize promotions to keep gamblers hooked, industry insiders revealed to The Guardian. Gaming operators are using online ads to target the interests of gamblers, too.

“They’ll know everything about an individual from their inside leg measurement onwards,” said Nick, a consultant within the gambling industry.

Mattha Busby writes that the gambling industry in England has been profiling casual gamblers, who think they are just placing a wager on the weekend football game, with much darker intent. Last August, the Guardian revealed the gambling industry uses third-party companies to harvest people’s data, helping bookmakers and online casinos target low incomes people and those who have stopped gambling.

The industry has been caught stacking the odds. The scandal of data exploitation by Facebook via Cambridge Analytica highlighted the potential risks of transferring user’s data to third parties, but there is precious little regulation or transparency when it comes to data collection, retention and use. Mark Etches, chief executive of GambleAware, a gambling-related harm charity, said: “Gambling advertising can be anywhere from TV screens, to social media, to mobile phone apps, and it can be hard for people at risk of developing a gambling problem to ignore the overload of messages.

Current and former gambling industry employees have described how recorded betting habits are scrutinized and modeled to manipulate their future behavior.