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OnlineSports BettingIndustry

Betby exclusive Q&A: AI provides the tools but human involvement 'vital' for decision-making

Betby’s Head of AI Labs, Danil Emelyanov, speaks to Gambling Insider about embracing the potential of AI, the power of personalisation and understanding the vitality of the human touch.

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How much do you think AI technology can help operators run a more effective and profitable business?

To ensure the future resilience of a sportsbook, it's crucial to fully embrace the potential of AI across the entire player experience, necessitating a transition to hyper-personalised experiences.  Players now anticipate entertainment experiences on par with platforms like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon. In this context, gambling aligns with other forms of media, with sports betting positioned at the convergence of media, e-commerce and entertainment.

The transformative power of game-changing personalisation is set to revolutionise the sports betting industry. AI-driven, automated personalisation brings advantages across the entire player journey, spanning from acquisition to retention and optimisation.

Incorporating AI into bookmaker operations yields numerous benefits, including a significant boost in player retention, swift churn predictions, heightened engagement through personalised recommendations and the early detection of suspicious betting behaviour - areas where traditional operators often fall short. 

The transformative power of game-changing personalisation is set to revolutionise the sports betting industry

How integral will AI become to improving user experience, such as curating sportsbook personalisation for players based on past user behaviour?

AI stands at the forefront of transforming user experiences, especially in domains like sportsbook personalisation. Utilising AI to scrutinise past user interactions empowers platforms to craft tailored experiences aligned with individual preferences. Achieving this level of personalisation requires the technology to tap into diverse data points, encompassing preferences in betting behaviour, as well as specific choices related to teams, sports, leagues or tournaments.

As AI algorithms continuously evolve, learning from and adapting to user behaviours, they deliver increasingly precise and targeted recommendations, odds and content. This not only streamlines the user's quest for enjoyable content but also forges a more immersive, enjoyable and engaging overall experience.

Do you see potential for AI to help operators with customer retention all by itself, or will there always be the need for a human element?

AI has significant potential in aiding operators with customer retention, but it's essential to recognise the complementary roles of AI and the human element. AI excels in processing vast amounts of data, identifying patterns, and automating routine tasks. In the context of customer retention, AI can analyse user behaviour, predict preferences, and deliver personalised experiences, effectively engaging and retaining customers.

Yet, while AI can automate many aspects of customer engagement, human oversight is necessary to ensure ethical considerations, prevent bias in algorithms and address any unforeseen challenges.

So I see AI as more of a set of tools, with these deep learning algorithms generating several valuable insights that bookmakers can use to optimise their retention strategies, including the likelihood a player will churn, how much they might spend per bet and whether or not they’re likely to become a VIP bettor. I believe human involvement is vital for strategic decision-making.

Betby has a range of esports betting options, specifically with its Betby.Games portfolio. Would AI aid in generating crossovers from traditional sports betting to esports betting?

AI technology will dissolve traditional content boundaries, reshaping the overall user experience (UX) for players. Bet recommendations and personalisation won't be confined to a specific sport or distinguish between real-life and esports events. As an example, Betby.Games is expanding its esports game portfolio by introducing a Champions League-based game. Consequently, if a player frequently bets on Champions League football matches, AI could generate special promotions related to Betby.Games events, enabling operators to seamlessly cross-sell various content categories. 

While AI can automate many aspects of customer engagement, human oversight is necessary to ensure ethical considerations, prevent bias in algorithms and address any unforeseen challenges

Regulation and compliance are important current topics in the online gaming industry. How can software developments help simplify risk management?

Effective risk management is a cornerstone of a bookmaker's operations, presenting a prime arena for leveraging the potential of AI and machine learning. These technologies, for instance, enable operators to dynamically formulate more precise odds in real time. Self-learning AI employs sophisticated algorithms to analyse historical data, providing sportsbooks with a heightened understanding of the likelihood of specific events.

By scrutinising player data, AI can autonomously construct detailed profiles of bettor behaviour, assessing the level of risk they pose to the bookmaker. This automation equips operators with actionable insights to safeguard their business, eliminating the need for manual data analysis.

Consider the scale of the task: manually profiling thousands of player accounts in a real-time setting would be nearly impossible for any operator. AI not only streamlines this process but also enhances its accuracy and efficiency.

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