The iGF Breakfast Club: Event Preview – The Role of Technology in Changing the iGaming Narrative

Regulatory requirements are increasing across Europe, and here in the UK, an upcoming review of the Gambling Act is pushing UK operators to find new and better ways to improve player protection.

Operators are however not faced with an easy task, and they often struggle to identify players at an early stage as they are moving towards problematic gambling behaviour. Similarly, operators at large struggle to provide appropriate help to aid these players in regaining control.

Many of the basic, threshold-based automatic systems that are operating at the moment are too simple and too often fail to identify players at an early stage. Manual setups, on the other hand, are highly time-consuming and costly and therefore difficult to scale.

This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into the picture – allowing for a fully-automated early, precise, and individualized detection and intervention of problem gambling behaviour.

As technology at large, AI can be used to automate tasks which normally require human expertise and can make sense of enormous volumes of data. However, creating an efficient AI setup is anything but trivial.

First, the system needs a very strong target. Mindway AI draws upon human expertise in contrast to other targets such as self-exclusion which do not accurately capture the range and complexity of problem gambling behaviour. Mindway AI collaborates closely with independent experts on gambling addiction, psychologists among others, and the result is a fully automated AI solution which is trained to monitor and profile each individual player based on human expert assessments: A ‘virtual psychologist’ that lets operators know of both the severe cases and any early signs of at-risk behaviour.

Second, an AI solution needs to be fully explainable. It, in other words, must be able to explain its evaluation and decisions. Mindway AI trains the GameScanner algorithm to replicate the reasoning of experts, making the solution fully explainable. This is an important tool for intervention purposes, making sure the feedback provided to each player is precise, , and in context of the player’s specific gambling pattern.

Finally, the algorithm must be able to identify players at an early stage before serious gambling problems start to appear at which point damage control is often too late. Aside from identifying problem gamblers, GameScanner also identifies players who are at-risk of developing problems in the future. Using human expertise, neuroscientific research, and the latest knowledge of early markers of problem gamblers, GameScanner can identify players who are more likely to develop problems in the future.

“Early identification is what sets GameScanner apart, and it makes a difference for several reasons. It helps the operator keep the customer, it’s compliant with regulation, it’s beneficial for the operator’s image, and last but not least it ultimately helps reduce gambling harms in society,” explains Mindway AI’s CEO Rasmus Kjaergaard.

Mindway AI helps operators integrate GameScanner into their own systems, and using GameScanner, operators are equipped to provide automated, personalized intervention towards at-risk customers to nudge them to reduce their risky behaviour. At the same time, operators are able to identify problem gamblers who require more severe interventions, precisely identifying which behaviours to target.

GameScanner furthermore allows operators to set up customized alerts to make sure that all players requiring attention are monitored, and for cases of high importance, operators can support the automatic evaluations with manual reviews using GameScanner’s powerful visualisations.

GameScanner makes it easy for operators to perform powerful analyses to inform and evaluate their RG strategy. For example, operators can identify products that attract high risk players as well as evaluate the effect of specific interventions.

”At Mindway AI, we believe that early detection and intervention is key to enhancing player protection and hopefully changing the narrative of the industry. With a properly trained AI algorithm, operators are able to manage individualized, precise detection and intervention in a way that’s scalable and does not require a ton of resources. This way, we strengthen and ease the RG processes for the operators while having a real impact, preventing certain players from developing a full-on gambling addiction with all the consequences that this entails,” says Rasmus Kjaergaard.

About Mindway AI

Mindway AI is an award-winning software company that originally spun out of Aarhus University, Denmark. In 2013, Professor in Neuroscience Kim Mouridsen developed an AI software that could detect early patterns of at-risk gambling behaviour among players. In 2019, Mindway AI evolved from an academic spin-out to a fully commercialized software company as leading Danish sports betting media group Better Collective invested in the company. Today, Better Collective owns 90 percent of Mindway AI, and founder Kim Mouridsen owns the remaining ten per cent. Mindway AI works with gambling operators, NGOs, and legislators with a clear mission to improve player protection in the gambling industry. Mindway AI sells its solutions to gambling operators in 14 countries and counting, and some of the world’s largest online gambling operators are on the client list.

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