Bookmakers increasingly using AI to predict user behaviour

A report by the Guardian has exposed the levels to which bookmakers are utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict the behaviour of customers and target them with personalised adverts and promotions.

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Bookmakers are collecting a wealth of data on their users. © Pexels.

The investigation by the Guardian spoke with current and former insiders and employees in the gambling industry and uncovered ‘frightening new ways’ in which bookmakers are using AI to target customers and keep them betting.

It was found that bookmakers log the pages which gamblers click on, pages they view, transaction histories and much more information. This data is used not only to personalise adverts, but operators also can glean who is more likely to have a gambling addiction and target them more frequently with adverts.

This data can then be used to create data-driven personalised adverts for each user that are more likely to be effective.

The use of users’ data in a such a way is hidden at the bottom of lengthy terms and conditions, meaning that most are unaware that such data is being collected.

A previous investigation by the Guardian had found that operators were using third-party companies to collect users’ data and target problem gamblers and those on low incomes.

Speaking to the Guardian, Asif, a digital marketing professional with experience in the gambling industry, said:

The industry is using AI to profile customers and predict their behaviour in frightening new ways… Every click is scrutinised in order to optimise profit, not to enhance a user’s experience. I’ve often heard people wonder about how they are targeted so accurately and it’s no wonder because its all hidden in the small print.Asif, Digital marketer

Operators are well aware of the increased likelihood of gambling addiction developing from users who are bombarded with these targeted adverts.

The industry is also planning to use geo-location data to further target customers. For example, if a customer is going to a real football match, they can be targeted with specific bets and offers for that match, which they would be more likely to bet on.

The expose highlights how technology outpacing legislation raises problems and the issue of a lack of legislation surrounding the collection of users’ data.

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