Whether it’s an actual casino in Vegas or Macau, or an online gambling website, AI is proving useful for gambling businesses to jack up their profitability. By using AI and data analytics, casinos are now able to determine outcomes for what used to be highly unpredictable variables.

From personalizing individual gamblers’ experiences, offering the best deals to the high-rollers, and comping the ones likely to spend big at the tables, AI is enabling casinos to maximize the profitability of many facets of their business activities. Traditionally, Pit Bosses (or Pit Managers), the suave-looking gentlemen in suits, were the experts at spotting high-rollers and making calls on extending gambler’s credit or comping them to keep them coming back. Now, AI can do some of that too.

“Intelligent” casinos

Companies like Optimove assist casinos like the MGM Grand and Caesar’s Palace to hone their marketing campaigns and target individual gamblers with the most personalized and tempting comp packages possible.

Another startup that’s helping casinos raise their profitability is IKASI, a company that uses AI to determine which gamblers will spend big or lose big and offer them the right incentives to keep them betting.

DataRobot lets even the small casinos with the least tech-savvy operators use AI to track bettors’ behavior and recommends the most profitable machine and game table layout.

And over in Macau, some casinos stay ahead of the game by using hidden cams tied to facial recognition and AI analytics to monitor an individual bettor’s behavior, then offer customized incentives to keep them playing.

The Pit Boss or Pit Manager is an imposing figure on many casino floors. Some of his duties include spotting the high-rollers, ensuring Dealers do their jobs right, extending bettor credit and comps bettors to keep them betting. AI can now perform some of those tasks too. With the rise of AI, careers like his may be in danger of replacement by automation. Or are they? (Photo credit: Nytimes.com)

When AI leads to Addiction

Many AI startups give an almost unfair advantage to online and actual casino operations, and the downside is mostly for gamblers. Researchers like Sylvia Kairouz, Director of the Lifestyle and Addiction Research Lab at Concordia University, Montreal warns that AI could contribute to a major public health issue like increased gambling addiction.

The Co-director of the Institute of Gambling Education and Research at the University of Memphis cautioned that most gamblers do so “with a budget”. Gamblers who don’t have deep pockets can easily exceed their “gambling budget” and become mired in debt. Whelan further suggested that for those prone to develop gambling problems, these AI-enhanced targeted marketing efforts “can be destructive.”

On the flipside, gaming advocates insist that using AI to monitor and analyze gambling habits can actually do more to help “problem gamblers” than harm them.

Former MGM Executive and now-Chairman of the Nevada State Advisory Committee on Problem Gambling Alan Feldman stated that he doesn’t believe that “more efficient offers” are going to suddenly trigger problems for a large number of problem gamblers. Apart from Feldman’s sentiments, reps of several AI companies, including BetBuddy and online casino Mr Green suggested that they’re better at seeing a bettor’s destructive gambling habits, and can step in to protect the gambler from self-ruin.

What it Means for Marketers

Marketers, especially those in the gaming industry, can definitely reap the benefits of using AI to implement their marketing campaigns, get more people to bet and keep them there. AI and betting are a good fit, since many casinos have huge amounts of bettor data from years of info collected through loyalty programs.

Another possible boon for marketers, even those not in the gaming industry, is observing how casinos combine customer data and AI to implement more effective marketing campaigns that will entice customers to buy and remain loyal. The only apparent downside seems to be the potential of abusing this “power” to draw more bettors and cause them to lose their shirts while the profits roll in.

For more details on this story, read it here: https://www.axios.com/casinos-gambling-ai-marketing-addiction-0f01b612-7384-4875-a61e-f35684804239.html

What do you think about AI being used to increase casino profits? Can the gaming industry be trusted not to abuse this “newfound power” and self-regulate? Is the use of AI in gaming a good yardstick for use in other industries’ marketing campaigns? We want to hear your opinions in the comments!

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