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“Measures like the £2 FOBT maximum stake would not be needed if gamblers are well-informed and well-equipped to control their gambling independently,” is how Raian Ali, Associate Professor in Computing and Informatics at Bournemouth University, UK, sees the future of responsible gambling ahead of his presentation at iGB Live! HQ (17th – 20th July 2018) at the Amsterdam RAI.
The EROGamb project, led by Raian, and funded jointly by GambleAware and Bournemouth University, develops software and research facilities to retrieve the online gambling behaviour data of subscribed gamblers iteratively. It uses this data to help them see their gambling behaviour in various forms and modalities, inform their decisions and aid them to regulate their gambling. It enables them to nominate mentors to look at the data and enables the mentor to design messages and graphs to send to them and also get their feedback on it.
Discussing the need for empowered awareness and fair sharing of gambling data, Raian said: “Our project is titled Empowering Responsible Online Gambling with Predictive, Real-time, Persuasive and Interactive Intervention, and the key here is to use the Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) of online gambling operators and provide the data to responsible gambling services and their surrogate software in real-time.
“There is a general view that gambling is a loosely regulated industry and with the rise in online gambling, challenges in regulating other involved disciplines such as artificial intelligence, typically used for profiling users and marketing, and security, typically involved for data protection and authentication, would add yet additional complexity. The maximum stake cut to £2 would be only a quick fix as workarounds by gamblers would always be possible. We would expect further restrictions of this kind in the future, which may make the gambling experience cumbersome to all. To avoid further restrictive measures of this kind, the gambling industry would need to restore, perhaps build, a more positive image by taking more proactive approaches; mainly in the transparency to gamblers and offering them measures and tools to be more in control of their gambling behaviour. In the end, measures like the £2 maximum would not be needed if gamblers are well-informed and well-equipped to control their gambling independently.”
The project was crowned the winner at ICE Research Exchange event, organised in collaboration with UNLV International Gaming Institute and Director of Research, Dr Brett Abarbanel, earlier this year by an audience of industry thought leaders. The upcoming presentation at iGB Live! HQ will include a new focus on a gamblers perception of the EROGamb technology following a recent study and taxonomy of gambling behaviour data, as well as lessons learned.
Raian explained: “There does not seem to be a magic solution for problematic and addictive behaviours unless the person involved is willing to change and participate in some self-regulation. However, this should not mean other parties involved in the gambling experience are exempted from practising their duty of care. Unlike the alcohol and tobacco industries, online and machine-based gambling has an unprecedented capability of tracking personal consumption and communicating data and information about it to gamblers and their surrogate counsellors and intelligent software. Most importantly, this can happen in a real-time fashion making their usage more potent in a timely and relevant manner. Technology can be designed to enable gamblers to define and customise their problem gambling triggers, perhaps with the help of an expert, so that they are then aided through the use of some interactive and persuasive technology mechanics to stay within the limit.”
“We advocate a fair share of this data for two objectives,” he continued. “Indeed, the GDPR would be a step in that direction in emphasising the rights related to automated decision making including profiling and the rights to data portability. These will allow gamblers to ask for their data and the way it is being used to profile them and, also, to stream this data to them and their authorised parties including responsible gambling personnel and software. A simple download of this data would be only a primitive right of gamblers, yet not available, and we are advocating real-time streaming of this data so that a timely decision can be taken by responsible gambling personnel, algorithms and applications.”
Raian Ali and the EROGamb Project team will be presenting the analysis from the recent study and the project as a whole at the iGB Live! HQ – Elevator session on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, from 11:40 to 12:00.
Source: Press Releases Published on European Gaming Media Network
BiG Africa Supershow 2019 Speaker Interview: Jason Foster
Interview with Jason Foster
Head of iGaming
Jason Foster is Head of iGaming at US based Chalkline Sports, a media technology company that powers platforms for communities and marketplaces of sports bettors. Jason has more than 20 years’ experience in sports betting operations and online sports betting technology and has worked with sports betting operators around the world. Some of Jason’s previous achievements include being the co-founder of South Africa’s first online bookmaker and a former General Manager of Sun International’s sports betting division, Sunbet. Other than gambling industry knowledge, Jason has extensive mathematical and statistical training.
Jordan: Jason, you were the co-founder of South Africa’s first online bookmaker, how have online sportsbooks evolved in South Africa ever since?
Jason: In a single word: mobile. Ten years ago, when we founded Volbet (later Sunbet), it was a big deal to simply take a bet online. It sounds a bit silly today, but that was the reality in 2008.
Today, Africa is a case study in mobile growth. The proliferation of mobile devices and connectivity on the continent is creating opportunities for digital inclusion, financial inclusion and innovation. The average person spends hours each day on their phone.
The impact on sports betting has been seismic. 75% of all online bets in Africa are taken on a mobile device.
This past summer, we ran World Cup 2018 programs for several clients in South Africa. Over 90% of all engagement was on a mobile device. We expect these percentages to hold strong or edge up as the overall size of the online betting market continues to grow rapidly.
Jordan: Chalkline Sports utilizes powerful Artificial Intelligence to generate content for bookmakers, how prevalent would you say AI is starting to become in the gaming sector?
Jason: As an industry, we’ve only just begun to tap the potential of AI. Many operators are using AI-enabled applications (like their CRM tools) that have AI-driven components.
In the sports betting space, many operators work with risk-management tools that use AI or machine learning.
However, we’ve only started with AI. Five years from now, when we think about gaming and AI, the response will be much more elaborate.
Jordan: You recently spoke about giving customers what they want at Gambling Indaba, what do punters really want?
Jason: At Chalkline Sports, we think about what punters want in three ways:
- Simplicity. Punters want simple, fun experiences on their phone, and they don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring things out. Facebook is easy. WhatsApp is easy, everything should be simple. No matter how complex the technology behind any application, the product must be simple to use.
- Personalization. Give punters what they care about. If you’re a serious rugby fan, you should first get info on Super Rugby. If you’re an EPL fan, you should get information on your favourite team. If you’re a casual fan, you should get the most popular games that day.
- Games. Punters want fun, and different types of games are changing the online experience every day. There’s more to sports betting than straight bets and parlays. Virtual games, lotto plus sports betting and season-long jackpot games are all examples of where the gaming world is going.
Jordan: Can you give us any hints as to what you will be presenting at the BiG Africa Supershow this year?
Jason: Yes. The emergence of mobile technology and data has created opportunities for operators that they can take advantage of to build and retain their customer base now. We’ll have a few case studies from forward-looking operators around the globe that will demonstrate the benefits of this approach.
Jordan: What do you look forward to by being a part of the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow?
Jason: African gaming is evolving rapidly. BiG Africa is a key a part of the growing conversation. The opportunity to meet and engage with operators, vendors, regulators and stakeholders is why we’ll be there.
Jason Foster looks forward to meeting you all in person at the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow. See more information on the BiG Africa Supershow and how you can register below.
SPiCE Gaming Conference and Exhibition to be held in Goa Marriott Resort & Spa in February 2019:
The second edition of the premier gaming conclave of India, namely the Strategic Platform for iGaming Conference & Exhibition (SPiCE), is set to be held on 26th and 27th February 2019, at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, located in Miramar, Panaji.
The two day conference and exhibition, hosted by Hong Kong-based Eventus International, will be held at the serene Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, which is strategically located close to the capital city of Panaji, with easy access to the offshore and onshore casinos of the state.
The event will see eminent experts and industry leaders brainstorm on the developments in the gaming and betting industry and the road ahead for the sector over the course of two days.
A SP’iCE’ Breaker Networking Drinks will be held on the eve of the event, i.e. on 25th February 2019 at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, wherein the attendees will get an opportunity to discuss, deliberate and network over drinks while gazing out over the beautiful oceanic view of the Arabian sea.
After Day One of SPiCE 2019 (26th February), attendees will also see a fun-filled casino visit to Deltin Royale casino in the evening and a USD150 buy-in poker tournament as well as canapés and drinks for the all.
On Day Two (27th February), there will be a VIP Networking Event, namely Table Talk Dinner, wherein the VIP attendees of the event will be invited to gather over a 5-star three-course dinner and drinks.
The theme for the event is to promote Indian culture and therefore participants and speakers are encouraged to attend the conference in their best ethnic attire.
Yudi Soetjiptadi, Managing Director at Eventus International notes, “SPiCE is turning out to be the most anticipated gaming event in India and the response that we have received so far is truly overwhelming. We aim give a unique experience to all participants and also promote Indian culture, which is why we are encouraging all participants to come out in their best ethnic wear for the event. SPiCE will not just be a platform to network and exchange views, but also have a memorable and fun-filled experience in a serene environment.”
Eventus International is a highly professional, independent and global event producing company that specialises in gaming conferences and exhibitions; across Asia and Africa, attended by hundreds of senior delegates from the private and public sector. For more information on Eventus International, kindly visit – http://www.eventus-international.com/
SPiCE is scheduled to take place on the 26th & 27th February 2019 at Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, India.
SPiCE India 2019 – We’re Adding Some Flavour to Networking
SPiCE isn’t just a 2-Day Conference and Exhibition. It is an “all-in-one” networking platform for the gaming industry to connect and grow together over formal and informal settings. Spartan Poker is the proud Co-Networking Drinks Sponsor for the “SP’iCE’ Breaker” networking event on the 25th of February 2019. During this event attendees who arrived early, can register to beat the queue on the next day, as well as BREAK THE ICE at SPiCE with HOT conversation and ICE COLD drinks, while gazing out over the beautiful oceanic views of Goa.
And… this is not the only way to network at SPiCE! Here follows all networking opportunities during SPiCE 2019:
- SP’iCE’ Breaker Networking Event: Co-Sponsorship (25 Feb, 5pm – 9pm)
• Sponsored Welcoming Drinks (26 – 27 Feb, 9am – 10am)
• Sponsored VIP Lounge & Bar (26 – 27 Feb, 10am – 5pm)
• SPiCE IT UP Poker Tournament: Co-Sponsorship (26 Feb, 8pm – Late)
• Table Talk Dinner VIP Networking Event: Co-Sponsorship (27 Feb, 7pm – 10pm)
Interview with Amin Rozani
The Spartan Poker
Amin Rozani is the co-founder and Managing Director of The Spartan Poker, one of India’s leading real money gaming portals. A Six Sigma Black Belt, Mr. Rozani comes from a banking process background having worked and consulted with brands such as Birla, Wipro, WNS and Standard Chartered Bank among others.
Eventus: What are the challenges faced in the online poker space at present?
Amin: The area of opportunity here is the taboo associated with real money gaming. There is still a prevailing thought (among those who aren’t full aware) that poker is a game of chance. That mind-set has been changing over the past 5 years especially but there is some way to go before poker gains complete acceptance as a mind sport that is skill-based. Of course, there are advertising and marketing hurdles faced by us when we try to promote the sport and our brand as mainstream advertising is unavailable to us. There is also a lack of clarity about regulation which needs to be addressed if this industry is to achieve the growth it is capable of in a shorter duration of time.
Eventus: Poker leagues are burgeoning and also being televised. What are the opportunities in the sportification of skill games?
Amin: Certainly it is terrific mainstream exposure for the sport and the more that happens, the faster we will see this game grow in India. If you ask people like us who first started playing/following the sport back in the mid-2000s, watching shows like the World Poker Tour on Indian television really opened us to how developed poker was in mature markets like US and Europe.
The other advantage of televising poker is the creation of Indian poker celebrities. While there are stalwarts in the game across the world, that one can admire, it’s a different feeling to look at home-grown heroes as a source of pride and inspiration.
Eventus: Although there are various restrictions on international operators starting something in India, what are the possibilities in the present scenario?
Amin: The poker industry in India is a very niche one which is closed off. There are several entry barriers for international operators to venture into India despite it being a very attractive proposition and one of ‘last frontiers’ in terms of poker markets. So any international operator who wishes to enter needs to understand these challenges and will require substantial funding to make a dent in this market.
Eventus: There are various legal cases going on in High Courts that will decide the fate of skill-based games like poker and rummy. How has the progress been in the matters so far and what may be expected in terms of legal and regulatory challenges going forward?
Amin: Poker is still in its nascent stages. The industry has exhibited immense growth despite various challenges. This upward trend will continue and considering that there are more opportunities than challenges, I am hopeful that those in charge of regulations will see the positives of making this sport mainstream and that it will happen sooner rather than later.
Eventus: Do you think other state governments are looking at opportunities in the casino and gaming space?
Amin: Certainly tourism-dependent states are always looking for opportunities to attract visitors. Gaming entertainment provides that and the significant revenue it would generate will help those states in funding various other developmental initiatives..
Eventus: What are the innovative products that can be offered in the current market and are you looking to expand your offering?
Amin: Within poker, there are many variants like Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC), a fast paced variant such as Boost (also known as Zoom on PokerStars), a jackpot style variant called Windfall and many more products are already on offer for players. Beyond poker, there’s games like rummy, fantasy sports and even play money casino which we are looking to get into. As such we are constantly seeking to innovate and new product development is an on-going activity
Eventus: What do you look forward to by being a part of SPiCE 2019?
Amin: SPiCE will allow me the opportunity to listen to and interact with industry leaders and veterans who will share their past experiences as well as their vision for the gaming industry’s future. Such insights are immensely useful to newcomers as well as to brands like ours which been around for a while. We can learn from the pillars of the industry which will help us avoid making errors and improve on existing processes. After all we are in the service business and the ongoing goal is to always serve our customers better.
After successfully hosting Sports Betting & Gaming India (SBGI) summit in Goa in February this year, Eventus International has announced the rebranded Strategic Platform for iGaming Conference & Exhibition (SPICE), scheduled to take place on the 26th & 27th February 2019 in Goa, India.
The two-day event will delve into the impact and opportunities that comes with clear and well-defined legalised gambling. Presentations will discuss investment opportunities in online skill gaming and brick and mortar casinos, effective structuring of foreign investments and gaming businesses, responsible gambling and the player protection and the socio-economic and financial benefits of legalised gambling etc.
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