How AI will affect iGaming

Angie  Harper - EditorAngie Harper - 01 April 2020 in Features

How AI will affect iGaming

Artificial intelligence - usually called just AI for short - is having a major global impact. All types of industries are going to be affected by the rise of AI in a number of unpredictable ways.

But let's focus on the world of iGaming for now. How is iGaming going to be affected by AI?

Assessing gambling habits through advanced algorithms

One of the key ways AI is being used in the iGaming sector is through advanced algorithms. These are used to assess gambling habits, helping companies to amass large amounts of data.

This information can then be used to develop increasingly tailored promotions and offers that are designed to keep players coming back for more. Using AI in this way is not a particularly new thing, of course. Macau casinos have been found to be using AI in order to analyze customers.

It is, therefore, only natural that online casinos would be doing the same thing to boost their business. But it does raise an ethical question. Is it morally right to use these advanced algorithms in order to identify casino customers who could be at risk of developing addictions? Should the use of AI in this way be classed as intrusive, given people do not know it happens?

These are the kind of issues that the iGaming industry is going to grapple with over the coming months and years. Maximising income must be balanced with being fair to customers too.

On the flip side, casino customers have been known to develop their own algorithms in order to try and make profits, so perhaps it is going to be happening on all sides in the future.

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Using smart assistants for iGaming

Is it possible that in the future, people could be enlisting their smart assistants in order to play online casino games? That development might not be too far away at all.

Many people already rely on either the Google Assistant, Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa assistant for help with their daily lives. It does not seem a stretch to suggest that these digital assistants could soon be helping people to place bets at the roulette wheel at an online casino.

Virtual reality headsets seem to be a great fit for iGaming as well, so perhaps smart assistants and VR could be set to team up as well at some point soon.

Imagine being able to see your fellow poker players at the table, reading their facial expressions before deciding whether or not to bet, check, raise or fold. And if you could instruct Alexa or Siri to make your move for you, the process would be even smoother.

Could automated, algorithmic trading be the next big thing?

According to Simon Westbury, the director of international development for Digitain, one of the big future uses for AI in iGaming is going to be automated, algorithmic trading.

Writing for European Gaming recently, he argued that even though a lot of traders are still relying on more manual systems, automated ones are not going to be too far away either.

Westbury believes that for in-play betting, in particular, the future lies with automated, algorithmic trading. The betting industry is increasingly moving towards a focus on in-play wagers, so this could be a huge shift for this part of the sector in the coming months and years.

Research has suggested that up to 70 per cent of bets are now placed in-play, so if AI was to play a bigger part here then the move towards in-play seems set to become more profound.

Senior traders are still relying on their old-fashioned spreadsheets, says Westbury, but as soon as some of them begin to switch to new types of automated, algorithmic trading it seems inevitable that the rest will start to follow soon enough.

Improving player engagement through CRM developments

Customer relationship management (CRM) is crucial for iGaming companies and AI is going to help them out a lot in the near future. AI and machine learning are already being used for CRM but the link between them will become more vital in the coming years.

Operators now have the ability to track where their players come from, as well as soaking up data on their betting and gambling preferences. This enables the iGaming provider to have a better chance of retaining them as customers through the use of promotions and offers.

This can be good news for casino customers as they are likely to get even more appealing bonuses offered to them in a bid to keep them coming back for more. Player data can also enable iGaming operators to come up with increasingly customised experiences for users.

What is for certain is that AI is going to have a massive impact on the future of iGaming globally.