The UK gambling industry continues to experiment and try out new ways to protect bettors from going overboard and to reduce the impact of gambling addiction throughout the country.
The latest experiment involves betting operators across the country implementing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that automatically locks up their betting machines for 30 seconds.
Top betting operators across the country including William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral and Betfred have confirmed that they have implemented the new system that mandatorily imposes a 30 second shutdown on betting machines.
During these 30 seconds, players will not be allowed to operate these betting machines as the controls are locked. The AI system takes advantage of this cool down period to promote safe gambling practices on machine screens. Betfred rolled out the system earlier this month across 1,600 shops while Ladbrokes Coral has implemented the system across more than 3,200 betting machines.
The system was designed using AI and is known as the Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS). It was promoted by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), which represents over 90 percent of betting and gaming operators in the UK. The AI system has the ability to detect when players are chasing losses, betting too frequently and spending too much time on one machine.
When this happens, the AI kicks in and locks the system for a 30 second cool down period to let bettors know that they are stepping over the line and need to think about their actions. Major betting firms across the country are trying out APAS this month and a number of smaller firms are also expected to follow suit shortly.
When the APAS locks a betting machine down, the staff are also alerted that there is a player out there who might need help. The trained staff will then come and check up on the concerned player to see if everything is alright.
Cool Down Period Not Very Effective
While the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is happy to experiment and try out different strategies to arrest the growth of gambling addiction and protect players better, there is very little evidence to suggest as of now that this 30 second cool down period is doing much to deter or reduce problem gambling.
Gambling experts suggest that the 30 second break is too short to have any significant impact in discouraging players from going overboard.