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AI Is Being Used To Predict Gambling Behavior (theguardian.com) 54

"The gambling industry is increasingly using artificial intelligence to predict consumer habits and personalize promotions to keep gamblers hooked," reports The Guardian, citing industry insiders. "Current and former gambling industry employees have described how people's betting habits are scrutinized and modeled to manipulate their future behavior." From the report: Publicly, gambling executives boast of increasingly sophisticated advertising keeping people betting, while privately conceding that some are more susceptible to gambling addiction when bombarded with these type of bespoke ads and incentives. Gamblers' every click, page view and transaction is scientifically examined so that ads statistically more likely to work can be pushed through Google, Facebook and other platforms. Users unwittingly consent to the use of their data in ways they aren't aware of due to lengthy terms and conditions, enabling their information to legally be used in this way. Last August, the Guardian revealed the gambling industry uses third-party companies to harvest people's data, helping bookmakers and online casinos target people on low incomes and those who have stopped gambling. Despite condemnation from MPs, experts and campaigners, such practices remain an industry norm.
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AI Is Being Used To Predict Gambling Behavior

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  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday April 30, 2018 @09:19PM (#56534007) Homepage Journal
    "Gamblers' every click, page view and transaction is scientifically examined so that ad"

    Wow, not just examined, but SCIENTIFICALLY EXAMINED. With real science and stuff. The AI hype train is on the track!
  • you know you're going to lose. Especially Casino gambling. It was one thing before video games when there was novelty and excitement in the bleeping lights. I suppose there's more to poker and the like, but that's not what most folks play. Is there anyone here under 40 who regularly gambles at Casinos? Or even thinks it's anything other than strange and offputting?
    • I gamble at my local casino every weekend. What is so strange about me?
      • by rojash ( 2567409 )
        You, Sir, are a normal human being.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Do you gamble at poker machines - and if so, out of genuine curiosity, could you explain why?

        I mean, I kinda get gambling on sport - not my thing, but I guess you combine something you enjoy watching with the delusion that you can predict the outcome, add some extra spice to cheering for an outcome, fair enough.

        And cards... yeah I suppose it's an excuse to sit around, have a drink and play a game with your mates, so ok, I get that.

        But poker machines... why? I mean seriously, why? Unless you're a complete

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          i know people who have absolute faith in their (or someone else's) luck. I have been regaled with stories of how they were stranded in a remote location with a poker machine until someone used their last dollar to win $20 and they got out.

          in a previous relationship I was drug to Vegas and a casino. I made use of the "day care" (video games for kids whose parents were too busy losing money to look after them) while my ride blew money. At the end I was surprised to hear that $xx had been won -- but on questio

      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        Have you calculated a ROI for your investment at the gambling tables? You can find better investments, like putting the $$ in the shoe box under your mattress. I assume you find it entertaining and aren't planning a jackpot as your retirement strategy. I had a wife who really liked the casinos and I'd go occasionally, but I never got the bug. It seems like throwing away perfectly good money. If you leave the tables for the bar it's a sure thing.

    • I bet on sports. It can make even games I wouldn't normally care about interesting. I haven't had to deposit any money into my account in 2-3 years, I actually have been thinking about making a withdrawal because it's been gradually increasing.
    • Back when there were $2 blackjack tables I could go to Vegas with $100, eat at $5 all-you-can-eat buffets, pay $25 for a clean hotel room, see a show, fill up the gas tank on the way out, and come home with $80-100 in my pocket.

      Not a bad way to spend the weekend.

      Now that the blackjack tables have $20 minimums, hotel rooms are $100+, and the all-you-can-eat buffets are gone: not interested.

      Yeah, inflation. I know.

    • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @01:23AM (#56534661) Homepage Journal

      you know you're going to lose

      Wrong. You can win or lose. That's why it's called gambling.

      If you absolutely know for certain you're gonna lose, nobody would gamble and casinos wouldn't exist. It's the thrill of winning money that keeps people hooked.

      Over long term yes the house wins. Law of large numbers and all that. But over a short time period - say one hour or one day - you can easily win. I've done it, I won 5 grand playing blackjack one night when I was 22 years old. It was exhilarating.

      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

        Over long term yes the house wins. Law of large numbers and all that. But over a short time period - say one hour or one day - you can easily win. I've done it, I won 5 grand playing blackjack one night when I was 22 years old. It was exhilarating.

        ^ This is exactly the answer to the previous poster's question: gambling takes advantage of peoples' natural tendency to focus more on the near-term and less on the long-term. In the short run, gambling looks like a risky but potentially lucrative (and therefore exciting) "business opportunity". In the long term, it's obviously a scam, but that doesn't count for much with people who are not in the habit of thinking about the long term.

        • I myself don't like gambling, but what you're saying is disingenuous. Nobody thinks of it as a "business opportunity" or a good way to make money. It's just a fun but ultimately harmless risky behavior for 99% of people. You're *not* guaranteed to lose money - I mean, of course you would be if you went every day for a year, but if you go for a weekend you make money 45% of the time and lose money 55% of the time.]

        • by epine ( 68316 )

          It was exhilarating.

          Odds are—and you can bet the casino's bank on this—that momentary exhilaration tapped you for $15,000 going the other way over the next decade.

          There's a good reason the first hit of crack cocaine is usually on the house.

          I'm pretty up to speed on the PFC, dopaminic down-regulation, the basolateral amygdala, and the nucleus accumbens today (all implicated in sketchy impulse control) as I just invested my first two hours with Sapolsky's recent book Behave: The Biology of Humans

      • by bloc50 ( 5390694 )
        Gambling can never be certain, can only be calculated nearly Whatsapp Dating Sites South Africa [southafric...numbers.co]
    • by tgeek ( 941867 )
      Much like other addictions, when a gambler gets hooked, all common sense and reason goes out the window.

      Back in my drinking days, I'd hit the same bar every day after work. One of my friends there (a non-drinker) would be sitting in front of the "for entertainment only *wink, wink*" video slot machine for hours every day feeding it $20 at a time. The bar owner made no secret of the fact the machine was set to pay out only about 80% of it's take. And my friend was virtually the only person who ever put
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Some people just do it for the thrill. I play the lottery, even though the chance of winning is tiny it gives me a little bit of entertainment each week in exchange for a tiny sum of money I can afford to lose.

      But like most things that are fun and pleasurable, it can be addictive. That little hit of adrenaline when the wheel spins or you get a good hand creates a feedback loop. It's a known vulnerability in the human brain, there is probably a CVE for it somewhere.

    • If you enjoy the games and consider your wagers to be the cost for entertainment, it's not so hard to understand. You definitely shouldn't be expecting to win, but it's great if you do and an added thrill. The fact that you have real money on the line (always think of chips as money from your pocket) makes it more exciting to some--just like playing hardcore mode in a video game.

      When all's said and done, if you're not having fun playing the games, no, there's no good reason to gamble. And if you don't
  • True AI ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkling-MHCN ( 222524 ) on Monday April 30, 2018 @09:37PM (#56534065)

    And when true AI finally does arrive it'll be on the back of tens of thousands of machine learning systems that have come before it which have been trained to treat people like they're something to be harvested. We're well on the way to the matrix, although it won't be at the end of a marxist robotic revolution rather than an inevitable evolution.

  • Does this progression surprise anyone? Mercenary psychologists that would sell out their own mothers don't come cheap; AI is a system you develop ONCE and don't have to pay a princely salary. The cost is all up-front. Would game developers who exploit loot boxes and casino game operators be interested in eliminating an HR expense? Duh!

  • IMO, this would be no different than a beer company giving out free samples outside an AA meeting. Yet another reason none of my earnings will ever be used to build a flashy casino.
  • And this is why we should fear Facebook, Google, and all the other data aggregators. I'm not overly concerned about obvious manipulation like a beautiful woman selling beer, but what about the subtle mind hacking which I may not even know about, targeted at me specifically? We've seen in the recent US election how those techniques are already being developed.
  • What's the point for casinos to target people on low income? High income is much more profitable.
    Is it a "long tail" thing where they try to get a little bit of money from a large number of people instead of a lot of money from just the richest?

  • I'm not sure why this would come across as striking, most of us have some predictable behaviour or at least things that we do. It could be as simple as getting coffee every morning or something a tad more complex but at the end of the day all the AI is being used for is to look for these patterns. In the past, it would have taken a person carefully observing and analyzing to figure this out but nowadays a computer can be used to help find that pattern. Advertising already tries to do this thou usually no

  • Am a big gambler, i mean i gamble different games types. I can tell you is not to be trusted Dating Single Women Online Love [southafric...numbers.co]

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