Automation isn’t a new thought. It dates back to the 16th century and has emerged in different industries and work processes since, from heavy industrial machinery and robot-driven assembling lines to now self-driving cars. One of the main drivers of automation is the productivity increase and the time saving that results from tedious manual work being automated.
Automation is also relevant for the gambling industry and particularly helpful in responsible gambling. With the vast amounts of data that gambling generates at an operator level, applying automated procedures to sift through data have their justification and almost seem to be a no-brainer to implement. But, apart from the obvious benefits of more time-efficient data handling, what are the advantages?
There are quite a few advantages that automating player profiling and monitoring leverage. Looking at the bigger picture, it allows for a bird’s eye view of the entire gambling database, showing the general health of gamblers – how many gamblers are safe, at-risk and problem gamblers. It further gives insight into changes and tendencies in behaviour, game preferences etc. either for certain demographics or for the entire database over time. It can also be used as a measurement tool to track changes after campaigns, targeted at certain player groups, demographics or again the entire database.
From quite a few operators we’ve heard that manual data extraction and preparation for analysis is extremely time-consuming. One thing is the cost of manpower to pre-process data, but another and more important improvement automation offers is the timely detection of at-risk and problem gamblers. Time and early detection are of the essence to protect gamblers from gambling-related harm. Through automation, constant monitoring is taking place which allows for the timely identification of at-risk and problem gamblers. This is what a system like Mindway AI’s GameScanner provides. It also allows for shifting time used for manual data pre-processing to more strategic RG work and intervention.
At the player-specific level, automation can keep track of behavioural changes during gambling over time and pinpoint problematic combinations of risky gambling behaviour. Not only can automated processes raise the flag when gambling behaviour starts to deviate, but also simplify the process of identifying who is and who isn’t a problem gambler which in itself is a complex task as it involves many different parameters to be taken into account.
Automation has a consistency that is impossible for humans to keep up with. It doesn’t get tired, have a bad day or make mistakes – instead, automation is tireless, steady and reliable. It can keep track of tremendous amounts of data that allows for detecting patterns that were previously hidden from human analysis. The human ability to recognize patterns has its limits compared to automated processes. Humans can’t grasp as much information at once – both tracking changes over time, taking many different aspects and their interrelations into account and counting in the demographics of a specific player.
The real value from automation lies in the insights, which open up two main opportunities. One is unveiling patterns invisible to the human eye. Not only do we see new patterns, but we also see them sooner and in time for intervention. The other main opportunity is applying the insights and understanding of the individual gambler’s behaviour, and which aspects of gambling are problematic. For intervention purposes, the deep insights create the foundation for a personalized approach that leverages much more fruitful communication as the gambler recognizes him/herself in what is pinpointed. With a deeper understanding of what is going on at the individual and database level, the results of automation are a major asset that can be translated into customer protection and overall business strategy.
Rasmus Kjaergaard, CEO, Mindway AI