One nice thing about online gambling is you don’t have to worry about the dealer sizing you up. You can play in your bathrobe, if you like, without upsetting anyone. If you start making crazy bets, you don’t have to worry about the dealer’s disapproving glances.
But hold on. That’s not so true anymore according to an August first story in The Guardian. A UK technology firm called Featurespace has worked out a way to spot potential gambling addicts. Using a technique they call Adaptive Behavioral Analytics, Featurespace programs can pick up when a player’s betting is showing signs of addiction.
How the Computer Recognizes Addicts
It should come as no surprise that online casinos collect data for every action a player takes. Over time these actions build up a unique pattern that the computer recognizes as the player’s personality. When the player deviates from this pattern, the computer spots it.
So in a word, the computer slowly gets to know you, and when you begin acting out of character it becomes concerned. Raising your bets after losing a lot of money can cause a red flag to go up, as can suddenly playing at odd hours. Any number of actions outside your normal pattern may tip off the computer to addictive behavior. But then what does it do?
The Electronic Dealer–Always a Gentleman
Does the computer then take you aside and inform you of its suspicions? Not likely! If the electronic dealer offends you that usually means you’ll just take your business to another casino. You don’t get help and the casino loses your money. Nobody wins. So the computer simply offers potential problem gamblers options such as session limits, deposit limits or loss limits. The message is clear, but instead of appearing confrontative, the tone is more supportive, politely suggesting moderation. Other techniques such as steering the player toward less risky games are also used.
Though the electronic dealer will never be your friend, let it never be said it doesn’t treat players with respect and concern, as any good gentleman should.