How AI Helps Casinos Collect Data on You Just Like Facebook

By in Casino & Gaming on
4 Minute Read
Artificial Intelligence

You’re no doubt leery of companies harvesting your data and giving it away to third parties. You need only look at the data-collecting scandals involving Facebook, Google, and other tech companies to become fearful.

Unfortunately, the Facebooks and Googles of the world aren’t the only ones using your data. Land-based casinos are also doing the same through artificial intelligence.

The unnerving thing about this is that these same casinos can now gain an even bigger edge over you. Below, you can read more about what gambling companies are doing with your data and how it helps them take your bankroll.

How Casinos Capture Your Data with AI

Video poker and slot machines have been able to track your play for decades. After all, they’re electronic games that can monitor rewards, betting patterns, and customer behavior once programmed.

Table games present a different story, though. Pit bosses have monitored these games for years to determine how many comps you deserve.

Casinos now have chips with embedded RFID technology to handle this process. Rather than making estimates on casino rewards like pit bosses do, these casino chips accurately track exactly how much you bet.

Of course, you must hand information over the house before you’re eligible to receive rewards. A land-based casino asks you to join their player’s club before giving away comps.

An online casino requires you to complete registration to become a member. In either case, you must exchange info for the ability to receive rewards.

This period doesn’t mark the first time that casinos have collected data. The gambling industry has been gathering information for decades through various means.

The difference now, though, is that casinos have more technology to aid them in their efforts. Thanks to RFID chips, they know exactly how long you play and what your favorite games are.

What Are Casinos Doing with Your Information?

Data is as valuable to casinos as it is to many other companies. They use your info to develop promotions, use specialized email marketing, and tweak the resort experience to your liking.

More technology companies have sprung up to serve this niche. Here are some businesses that focus on casino AI:

  • DataRobot – Specializes in helping smaller casinos use AI without requiring expensive expertise. Their data allows casinos to tailor rewards and arrange games to boost earnings.
  • IKASI – Helps gambling venues determine high and low rollers. Casinos can then develop specific promotions to meet both types of gamblers’ needs.
  • Optimove – Serving some of the biggest corporations in gambling, Optimove helps casinos use data to perfect their marketing efforts.

Artificial Intelligence

Just like Silicon Valley, the gambling industry doesn’t like talking about their use of customer information. But their efforts most definitely revolve around using today’s improved technology to attract and retain gamblers better than ever before.

Massive American casino corporations have employed hidden cameras and facial recognition to identify gamblers and their playing habits. This practice sounds like an Orwellian nightmare brought to life, but it’s just the latest step in casino marketing.

Why You Should Worry About Casino AI

The gambling world already has the edge on you and other players. Artificial intelligence gives them yet one more advantage.

You likely go into the casino with a specific bankroll or budget in mind. However, AI-based marketing efforts have the potential to make you bet more than you originally bargained for.

Then again, you might be a highly disciplined gambler who won’t be wooed by casino advertisements. Sadly, some players do and will continue falling for this type of marketing.

Gambling establishments don’t offer comps and deposit bonuses online out of the goodness of their hearts. Instead, they want to keep you playing.

If a land-based casino sees that you haven’t visited them for three months, they may send you a coupon for a free meal. Likewise, a gaming site might offer you a free blackjack bet to try their live dealer casino.

To some extent, these promotions benefit you by providing free comps and play. But they can just as easily cause you and/or others to go overboard.

Are Casinos As Bad As Facebook for Collecting Your Data?

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are among the high-profile offenders that have been harvesting your data. They’ve fairly taken lots of heat for doing so too.

Casinos, on the other hand, have largely evaded media reports on data collection. As you can see, though, they’re just as bad as any of the major tech companies in this regard.

But casinos aren’t any worse than other industries either. They’re simply taking advantage of what’s available to maximize profits.

Of course, the gaming industry always draws more criticism due to problem gambling. Only a small percentage of gamblers have a problem. Nevertheless, gaming addiction can cause people to go bankrupt and families to break apart.

Casinos would definitely bear heavy criticism—maybe even more than tech companies—if their use of AI marketing becomes a big story.

Should You Quit Gambling Because of the AI Trend?

The casino industry harvesting your data to keep you gambling seems extremely nefarious. However, this concept may not be as bad as it sounds at first thought.

Casinos can also use AI for good, most notably to identify problem gamblers in advance. BetBuddy, for example, works with gambling companies to quickly flag at-risk players.

Casino AI

Responsible gambling is at the forefront of efforts to legalize online and land-based casino gaming. The industry is always looking for ways to help compulsive gamblers and improve their public image.

Of course, this aspect may be no use to you if you’re a responsible player. It does show, though, that casino AI isn’t purely evil.

Even if you’re worried about data harvesting and marketing effects, you can take steps to minimize your exposure (covered next). In short, you don’t have to stop playing your favorite games just because casinos are collecting your information.

How Can You Combat This Trend?

AI-based casino marketing can convince you to pursue new bonuses and promotions. Therefore, the first step you want to take in this regard involves limiting how many channels you follow.

Rather than signing up to a casino’s newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you could simply following 1-2 of these channels. You should stick with the most-useful option.

Understanding how real money bonuses and promotions work is another key to not getting carried away. Casinos almost always retain their advantage with bonuses factored in.

Here’s an example:

  • You deposit at an online casino.
  • You qualify for a $100 bonus.
  • Playthrough on the bonus is 40x.
  • 40 x 100 = $4,000 must be wagered before withdrawing
  • You play a slot with 96% RTP (average for online slots).
  • 4,000 x 0.04 (house edge) = $160 in losses
  • 160 – 100 = $60 net loss

The thought of a $100 bonus sounds enticing in this situation. However, you’ll theoretically lose $60 after earning the bonus.

Again, gambling establishments ensure that they hold the advantage when offering “freebies.” You shouldn’t let promotions convince you to play when you’re not in the mood.

Bankroll management is another key to dealing with the casino AI trend. You need to establish a finite amount that you’re willing to risk on casino games.

If you have $3,000 in savings, then you might allow yourself a $500 bankroll. You don’t want to let any amount of offers convince you to exceed this amount.
The simple realization that casinos gather data is another way to avoid blowing too much money. Just knowing that your bets and resort purchases are tracked helps you see through the curtain.

You’ll scrutinize email and text offers more when knowing that casinos used your past spending habits to specialize such offers.

Conclusion

The artificial intelligence era has been going on in tech businesses for years. It’s also in full swing regarding casinos too.

The gaming world now uses your data to tailor rewards and offers to your specific tastes. They stand a better chance of getting you in the door as a result.

These efforts don’t necessarily make casinos the devil any more than Amazon or Apple. However, you should be fully aware of what casinos are doing so that you aren’t convinced to gamble beyond a comfortable amount.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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