“Measures like the £2 FOBT maximum stake would not be needed if gamblers are well-informed and well-equipped to control their gambling independently,” is how Raian Ali, Associate Professor in Computing and Informatics at Bournemouth University, UK, sees the future of responsible gambling ahead of his presentation at iGB Live! HQ (17th – 20th July 2018) at the Amsterdam RAI.
The EROGamb project, led by Raian, and funded jointly by GambleAware and Bournemouth University, develops software and research facilities to retrieve the online gambling behaviour data of subscribed gamblers iteratively. It uses this data to help them see their gambling behaviour in various forms and modalities, inform their decisions and aid them to regulate their gambling. It enables them to nominate mentors to look at the data and enables the mentor to design messages and graphs to send to them and also get their feedback on it.
Discussing the need for empowered awareness and fair sharing of gambling data, Raian said: “Our project is titled Empowering Responsible Online Gambling with Predictive, Real-time, Persuasive and Interactive Intervention, and the key here is to use the Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) of online gambling operators and provide the data to responsible gambling services and their surrogate software in real-time.
“There is a general view that gambling is a loosely regulated industry and with the rise in online gambling, challenges in regulating other involved disciplines such as artificial intelligence, typically used for profiling users and marketing, and security, typically involved for data protection and authentication, would add yet additional complexity. The maximum stake cut to £2 would be only a quick fix as workarounds by gamblers would always be possible. We would expect further restrictions of this kind in the future, which may make the gambling experience cumbersome to all. To avoid further restrictive measures of this kind, the gambling industry would need to restore, perhaps build, a more positive image by taking more proactive approaches; mainly in the transparency to gamblers and offering them measures and tools to be more in control of their gambling behaviour.
In the end, measures like the £2 maximum would not be needed if gamblers are well-informed and well-equipped to control their gambling independently.”
The project was crowned the winner at ICE Research Exchange event, organised in collaboration with UNLV International Gaming Institute and Director of Research, Dr Brett Abarbanel, earlier this year by an audience of industry thought leaders. The upcoming presentation at iGB Live! HQ will include a new focus on a gamblers perception of the EROGamb technology following a recent study and taxonomy of gambling behaviour data, as well as lessons learned.
Raian explained: “There does not seem to be a magic solution for problematic and addictive behaviours unless the person involved is willing to change and participate in some self-regulation. However, this should not mean other parties involved in the gambling experience are exempted from practising their duty of care. Unlike the alcohol and tobacco industries, online and machine-based gambling has an unprecedented capability of tracking personal consumption and communicating data and information about it to gamblers and their surrogate counsellors and intelligent software.
Most importantly, this can happen in a real-time fashion making their usage more potent in a timely and relevant manner. Technology can be designed to enable gamblers to define and customise their problem gambling triggers, perhaps with the help of an expert, so that they are then aided through the use of some interactive and persuasive technology mechanics to stay within the limit.”
“We advocate a fair share of this data for two objectives,” he continued. “Indeed, the GDPR would be a step in that direction in emphasising the rights related to automated decision making including profiling and the rights to data portability. These will allow gamblers to ask for their data and the way it is being used to profile them and, also, to stream this data to them and their authorised parties including responsible gambling personnel and software. A simple download of this data would be only a primitive right of gamblers, yet not available, and we are advocating real-time streaming of this data so that a timely decision can be taken by responsible gambling personnel, algorithms and applications.”
Raian Ali and the EROGamb Project team will be presenting the analysis from the recent study and the project as a whole at the iGB Live! HQ – Elevator session on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, from 11:40 to 12:00.