AI traces machine players’ addiction

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Screening gamblers with artificial intelligence to give them “cooling-off” periods is being increasingly used by UK gaming machine operators, according to a report in today’s Daily Telegraph.

It states that British betting companies are using AI to pinpoint addictive behaviour and switch off for short periods. A device known as the anonymous player awareness system tracks behaviour each second, seeking evidence of chasing losses, playing erratically, speeding up or spending too long at the machine.

It will then lock out for a period of at least 30 seconds. During that time location management is informed so that they can investigate and warnings are posted up on the machine’s screen. The device has been introduced by the Betting and Gaming Council for use in the 8,500 shops in the William Hill, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power shops.

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However, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, a campaigner on gambling, has questioned whether the 30-second break is long enough.

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