A high-tech horizon: How the iGaming industry is being revolutionized by AI, IoT and what the future holds
The future looks bright for the iGaming industry. Online casinos are growing more popular than ever before, but how are providers keeping up with the times? Growing pains are inescapable, but innovation is providing some much-needed relief. Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications and the Internet of Things (IoT) are proving to be essential in the development of online gaming enterprises, changing the way we play and providing a safer, more streamlined experience.
Security and Responsibility with AI & IoT
It’s no secret that online casino providers have come under more scrutiny this year than ever before, with the Gambling Commission announcing yet another new set of regulations back in February. These include new rules on identity and age verification as well as fair and safe play, even while the old set of responsible gaming laws are largely still in effect. Now, casinos are using AI and IoT to streamline responsible gaming tools and aid in customer security.
The IoT starts the process off by helping to collect consumer data. As players log on to play, their activity is tracked and online casinos get the gist of their actions, helping them form an idea of that specific player as an individual and all players as a collective consumer base. AI helps to translate that data into patterns, through which individual behaviors may be analyzed and identified as abnormal.
As of now, AI-enabled machine learning programs are already being used to identify problem gambling within the consumer base. Experts have completed development of programs which track individual user data patterns. These programs then analyze them and comparing them to patterns which display problematic or potentially addictive behavior.
When a problematic pattern is detected on an individual player’s account, action must be taken by the venue itself to mitigate the situation. The player may also be notified, possibly leading to a change in behavior or entrance into a self-exclusion program. AI also has the ability to analyze the success level of different forms of intervention (email, phone call, etc.), helping casinos streamline their protocol and come up with bulletproof ways to protect players and themselves.
As users log into more IoT-connected devices like mobile phones and tablets, this potential for learning becomes far greater because of the number of sensors on these devices. Cameras, voice recognition, wearable tech, and touchscreens all provide a goldmine of opportunities for data collection. And this is where other security aspects like ID verification may come into play.
Some companies are now offering a unique service to casino providers: identity verification through biometrics. This process requires users to take selfies in real-time (software can usually tell when the photos are fake) and sometimes submit other personal documents like an ID cards or bills. The AI them analyzes the photo using facial recognition software, comparing it to a library of similar pictures and rooting out underage gamblers and people making fraudulent accounts.
AI can use deep learning to identify problems within its own system as well, one of the most common being that they may flag an innocent user. As of right now, the safest method is to use this software in conjunction with human verification, especially when problems arise. Once these kinks are ironed out, the whole system of ID verification will be smoother and faster.
Customer Service & Doing Data Right
The IoT and AI can make the user experience better from every angle. This includes marketing tactics, offers, and rewards programs which are crafted for individual tastes, as well as creating games with the designs and features that players love. Casinos figure this out by tracking data gleaned from player accounts and from IoT connected devices. At this point, AI deep learning programs interpret this data and update providers and developers alike on new trends.
These trends may be based on an individual in regards to how a single player develops, or may include a wider range of players to track preferences based on location, age, or other demographics. For example, gamified slots and themed games inspired by pop-culture are becoming more popular with younger gamers, so we can expect to see developers working to meet these demands and intelligent casino providers offering more of these types of games.
As the consumer base evolves further, so will their preferences, and casinos will be able to tell based on their data what they are gravitating towards. Likewise, a casino will be able to determine the specific needs of an individual, and make up targeted campaigns to suit them on a smaller scale.
Player profile information, age, sex, location, length of time spent on specific games, login times, and more are all taken into account, as well as players’ reactions to specific offers and the success and failure rate of each targeted campaign. As the program learns more about what players respond too, the offers will become more successful.
Where can we expect to see this in action? Customer service is an ever-changing field, and leading casino providers like the cutting-edge online casino 888 are already taking major steps to improve it through the use of data analytics. You’ll find that these larger and more established providers have the means to collect data in straightforward and transparent way which is beneficial to the user, helping to personalize the experience for them and creating an environment which is tailored to suit their specific needs.
What matters most is that the customer gets what they want and need as a buyer. They should have the choices they want in front of them, and also have the opportunity to learn about and become engaged in new activities, games, and promotions.
However, AI isn’t just about advertising and development. It’s also used in other types of customer service, most commonly in the form of chatbots. Data shows that up to 86% of companies who hope to use AI to enhance the user experience are doing it through the use of chatbots or in conjunction with them. It’s a smart move, as it offers significant savings in the long run and customers seem to love the bots.
The chatbots are given access to a massive library of internal data, which they can access at any time. They can be utilized at all hours, because, unlike real people, they don’t need sleep. They can speak in multiple languages, they’re always polite, and they always answer promptly. They never make any of the common customer service mistakes which humans make, such as deflecting responsibility or being rude. They also give the shy or impatient consumer a way to solve minor problems immediately, without having to make a phone call.
If you’re skeptical of chatbots, you do have reason: programming on older bots was simple and not as effective. But nowadays, bots have the ability to both communicate effectively and interpret user demands in a more comprehensive manner. They function with deep-learning, analyzing each interaction to improve themselves.
The Future Looks Bright with New Ways to Play
The future of the iGaming industry will reflect the future of the world as a whole, but what sort of changes can we realistically expect to develop? With lightning-fast internet connections now commonplace, we want high-quality gaming now. Casinos are processing data as fast as possible for that to happen, but they often run onto problems in the pipeline. Enter edge computing.
Traditionally, games are accessed from a cloud which is located in a centralized server or series of servers. These servers are commonly far away, and have issues when transferring data like irritating latency problems and game lagging. Edge computing brings the cloud closer to you, so the lag goes away—this translates into perfect gaming. It’s also the technology allowing things like self-driving cars and remote surgical operations to finally become more mainstream, as latency could mean life or death in these types of operations.
The emergence of 5G networks will increase the need for edge computing as well, because they’ll mean more IoT-connected devices cluttering up the network. With edge computing to disperse data into manageable centers, this won’t be a problem. It’s important for iGaming because 5G could see the dawn of the real era of VR, AR, and smart-device casinos, which have been widely talked about, but never really hit mainstream use.
With the widespread implementation of AI and IoT applications, the iGaming world is an oyster waiting to be cracked open. The pearls of increased security, enhanced user experience, and effortless online gaming lie waiting inside. It isn’t a question of if it will be cracked open, only a question of whether you’re going to be there reap the rewards.