Gambling Disorders 360°

Exploring the latest news, issues and research relating to gambling disorders and responsible gaming

Guest Post: NCRG Conference Update: Using Research to Educate about Online Gambling

by: NCRG Staff | Sep 9, 2012

Simo Dragicevic, BetBuddyToday’s Gambling Disorders 360˚ post comes from Simo Dragicevic, president and CEO of Bet Buddy. Dragicevic will present findings from his latest research on gambling disorders and responsible gaming for those who gamble online at the 13thAnnual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction. Dragicevic’s plenary session, titled “New Research: Educating Online Players about the Risks Associated with Gambling,” will take place on Monday, October 1 from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. PST, and the NCRG’s social media team will be sharing the highlights of his talk in real-time on Twitter (@theNCRG, #NCRGConference). For more information on the NCRG Conference or to register, visit the NCRG Conference website. To learn more about Bet Buddy, you can visit their website or watch Dragicevic’s interview with Cass Business School.

Today is an exciting time for the gaming industry regarding Internet gambling. Cumulative investment in technology research and development over the last decade has created powerful technology platforms, analytical capabilities and skilled resources. In parallel, the research and academic community’s understanding of gambling disorders is also growing. Combining this rich pool of research together with technology and analytical capabilities is allowing us to gain deeper insights into players’ behaviors and help those players to make more informed decisions about their health and behaviors. Ultimately, this knowledge helps to make regulated gambling markets safer environments for vulnerable players.

I am very excited to have been invited to speak at the 13th NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction. The above trends have been at the heart of what my colleagues and I have been working on passionately. My plenary session will focus on the following areas:

  • Examining new research using large internet casino and poker player data sets
  • Demonstrating how new software applications are applying insights from peer-reviewed research to identify problematic gambling behaviors and educate gaming operators and players.

Our session will look at three studies that Bet Buddy and GTECH G2 have been collaborating on since 2010. The first study, which was published in International Gambling Studies in 2011, builds on the work undertaken at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a division of Harvard Medical School. Specifically, this work replicated Braverman and Shaffer’s (2010) clustering analysis of Internet sports player data using data from online gamblers playing casino games.

The second study is focused on describing Internet casino and poker self-excluders’ gambling behavior. The participants included more than 240,000 GTECH G2 Internet casino and poker players from the regulated European markets. For example, we compared the demographics and player behaviors (e.g. betting patterns such as amount of time spent gaming, games played, losses, etc) of those who self-excluded from Internet gambling and compared them to the control group.

The third study explains how we have used the insights from the previous studies to build models to predict self-exclusion events for Internet gamblers using statistical classification algorithms.

During the plenary session, we also will discuss the evolution of responsible gaming software in the gambling industry as well as how the innovation curve drives new product development in gaming, drawing on UK-based research undertaken by GamCare, Salford University and Bet Buddy that was recently presented at the Responsible Gambling Council’s Discovery 2012 conference in Toronto. We will also explain how Bet Buddy and GTECH G2 are using insights from peer-reviewed research to build new data-driven analytics software products (a type of ‘big data’ solution, to use a current technology buzz word) that can analyze large quantities of personal and machine generated data to track and predict player behaviors. This analytics software also allows us to interpret these insights to educate both gambling operators and gamblers about the risks associated with gambling. The demonstration will be of interest to the regulatory, academic, clinical, treatment and gaming industry communities, and also to those interested in how to execute data-driven research and who want to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with productizing such research.  I look forward to seeing you there!

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