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A new way to combat gambling addiction

By: 30 July 2014 One Comment

dice-152179_640Gambling Commission figures show that gambling industry in UK rakes huge profits and while some gambling forms are legal, the government is worried that gambling is now turning into a new addiction problem.

While there are several help available in combating gambling addiction, this time, a new way to combat this form of addiction has been presented by the University of Cambridge Engineering department and its spin-out corporate Futurespace. They’re using technology.

How is it done? Futurespace has developed a machine that uses behavioral data in analyzing if a person is showing signs that he’s a potential gambling addict. With learning techniques, the machine could identify patterns that are suggestive of gambling addiction. Such data are useful indication if the person needs to go and consult professional help and also serves as a preventive measure.

Where will the data come from? It is a regular procedure in gambling sites such as those offering bingo games to collect betting patterns of their players. These data indicate the time of day, the frequency and bets, and the type of game a player plays.

How is the data analyzed? With the collected data, Futurespace would be able to come up with a series of patterns that are indicative of normal or some risky behavior suggesting the person is inclined to develop gambling problems.

How the idea takes it form? Futurespace used to work as a consultant to provide fraud-solutions to gaming industry. While working, they have collected huge volume of data and seeing how customers are going out of control, they begun turning to using these collected data to help customers of gambling companies take control of their gambling. David Excel who works as CTO and founder of Futurespace explained that their work emerged from the point of view of a responsible gambling corporation. So they started developing a technology that will help bingo player to take control of their gambling behavior or in other words, prevent beforehand his being addicted to bingo sites.

Who will benefit with the idea? Of course, initially players themselves will benefit from this new way of combating gambling addiction. It is a form of a preventive measure and Futurespace sees this as a public service. However in general assessment, the gambling business benefits more if gambling addiction is controlled.

When a player starts developing gambling problems, the chances would be that he will turn to self-exclusion. Hence, when he does, this kind of player ceases to be a source of revenue to gambling sites. So in effect, Futurespace is doing more service to the gambling business as they can now take necessary steps to keep their players in a healthy gambling state.

David Excel maintained that when a gambling business was able to sustain a long-term relationship with their players, the better the business is. He further explained that when gambling problems increases in any location, the less favorable it is for business. Gaming commissions on some locations come up with strict regulations when there is an alarming statistics of gambling problem and this may includes gambling addiction.

Futurespace’s new technology works through knowing the habits of players and learning the patterns each individual creates through his playing habits. When such patterns show that a player is in control, it is conclusive that his playing patterns are regular and normal. However, factors such as who the player is and the frequency he plays are still valuable before concluding there are signs of addiction.
How can the technology combat gambling addiction? After indentifying and concluding that the problem really does exists, the next steps become crucial. It is when gambling sites should take the necessary measures such as limiting playing sessions, imposing deposit limits as well as loss limits. It is only through these measures that players could be in control of their games.

Gambling business gets ample help from technology in order to keep up with new trends and demands and ironically they’re using technology to combat gambling addiction. It only shows that gambling industry has sense after all.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

One Comment »

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