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Big Data and the rise of online gambling

Mon, Feb 4, 11:36am by Staff Writer

The popularity of online gambling has led to it becoming a multi-billion dollar industry that is expected to continue to grow in coming years. According to Statista, in 2015, the online gaming industry had a volume of US$37.91 billion.

That figure is forecasted to increase to US$59.79 billion by 2020.

The rise in online gambling can be associated with the rise of ‘Big Data’.

Data is affording businesses the chance to know more about their clients and their platforms. Keeping abreast of what clients want allows for optimisation of the market and the company’s performance.

Artificial intelligence or AI is also having a role in online gambling. The best example of its use is in poker where the AI computer program Libratus was pitted against four top-class human poker players in 2017. Libratus won thousands of hands over the players.

Dong Kim, a player that day was surprised by the machine’s performance saying: “I felt like I was playing against someone who was cheating like it could see my cards. I’m not accusing it of cheating. It was just that good,” he told Analytics India Magazine.

While AI has shown to be a profitable gambling tool, it has also been used to fight gambling addiction.

BetBuddy helps to identify a player before they get addicted. It harnesses machine learning to provide an end-to-end solution for identifying and managing at-risk gambling behavioural patterns.

Live casinos and betting boom in Asia

The gambling sector has transformed itself within the last 10 years thanks in large part to technological advancement. Online gambling has totally revolutionised the industry by allowing a once remote sector to bolster its market share.

In the United Kingdom, online gambling brings in more than one third of all gaming revenue, making it the largest gambling income stream in the region.

Online casinos have many advantages compared to their land based rivals, with the biggest of them being the ease with which customers can access games.

Players are able to gamble on the move or from the comfort of their own home.

At the forefront of the online gambling movement are live casinos, which pair players with dealers in real-time, adding the human element that was once missing from online gambling.

This gives players a ‘personal touch’, while affording players the opportunity to use strategies that wouldn’t be possible with online games, such as card counting and judging ball velocity in roulette.

The casino industry has always had its eye on technological advances as a way to make more money.

Video poker was the first fore into this field, but it wasn’t until 1996 when the industry first delved into online gambling.

The first ever online gambling software was created in 1994 by developer Microgaming, but the first bet wasn’t accepted online until 1996.

InterCasino open it’s Internet doors and offered customers the chance to play 18 casino games from the comfort of their own home in 1996, being the first site to offer this service.

Mobile World Live has reported that the predicted global mobile gaming market alone will generate $58.71 billion in revenue by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 per cent from 2017 to 2023.

Research conducted by BIS Research established the figures that also include an assertion that the Asia-Pacific gaming market will witness the fastest growth of any other thanks to improving Internet connections and availability of low cost smartphones.

One such example is the Indian mobile gaming market, which is expected to grow 28 per cent in the next five years.

A rising level of income in the middle class population and young people looking for alternative modes of recreation are also contributing factors to the growth.

The report notes minimal capital requirements have led to an influx of mobile game developers.

This, coupled with secure payment gateways, availability of a diverse range of gaming options and the rise of augmented and virtual reality has helped to boost consumer interest.

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