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Play-Tech- Bet Buddy- (The Machines are Taking Over!)


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Bet Buddy was founded in 2010 and acquired by Play-Tech in 2017, I have only just found out about Bet Buddy and what it actually is. As Bet Buddy was introduced it was an online gambling tool to help identify people who are at risk of becoming problem gamblers. It would do this by monitoring online and land based casino play. All the data from registered players was then collected and processed.

Bet Buddy was described as machine learning, artificial intelligence that mined data and player behavioral habits. The software could then automatically restrict players spending and refer them for risk assessment. The data is king and every single time you hit the button, deposit and even ho much time you spend playing a game is monitored and put through the AI's algorithm- This is kind of scary but I think people are getting used to this type of thing now.


When I think about AI I think of a computer that has super human powers and a higher level of thinking but in truth Bet Buddy and similar AI software is very basic. Yes the computer can process way more data than a human at a much faster pace but Bet Buddy's logic is very basic. It simply categorizes players and pigeon holes them into a box and depending on what box you are put in depends on if the new software will allow you carry on playing. The aim of Bet Buddy is to change players behavioral and spending habits.


When Bet Buddy was trailed only around 30% of players found these tools useful, this is very interesting as regulators like the UKGC are making tools like Bet Buddy compulsory for all new and existing casino players, both online and registered land based players. Players are registering at land based casinos in order to get loyalty cards and freebies.

So with a big sigh, I guess you just have to accept these new changes and expect that everything you now do that involves gambling online will be monitored and maybe restricted at some point. I still think the likely outcome from these restriction will be that players will just switch to unregulated casinos which will be potentially much more harmful for everyone involved.

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