The Wall Street Journal reports that researchers believe the data used to track their customers’ gambling habits can be used as a tool to reduce the problem of gambling addiction.
A group of addiction scientists and industry consultants say they can use casino customer-tracking information obtained from such sources as loyalty cards, to create computerized models that can identify and warn those with potential high risk profiles.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, most people can gamble without problems, but an estimated 6-8 million people in the US have a gambling addiction.
Previously, the method for diagnosing gambling addiction relied on people answering questions about their emotional dependence on gambling and its effect on their lives. Now while researchers say that no behavioral-tracking system can offer a diagnosis, it can, at least, strongly suggest who might be at risk.
To do their part, casinos have tried to address gambling addiction by devoting millions of dollars to fund various research projects. Many have implemented efforts to identify signs of distress and allow patrons to ask the casino to bar them.
Over time, in part through amassing of data on their customers through loyalty cards and other programs, casinos have developed behavioral profiles on them. Casinos can use this data to tailor their offerings for each customer and make their experience unique, especially for their most profitable ones.
For casinos of the land-based variety, the data obtained from these loyalty programs can only be generated if the customer chooses to opt into them. But now with the advent of online gambling and impending explosion of mobile gambling, much data will be collected on every customer, including size of bets, time of day and amount of time spent.