While the brick and mortar industry has been severely impacted by the global health pandemic, online sectors have risen in prominence due to lockdown procedures and guidelines.

Concluding the CasinoBeats Malta Digital event, a panel of experts discussed how new technologies can enhance technical compliance, leading to a growth in the igaming and online casino industries.

During the technical compliance panel, sponsored by BMIT, Marjo Kayhko, Malta’s development manager at Kindred Group, discussed the benefit of having AI systems, specifically when discussing the ability to prevent problem gambling.

She stated: “We use AI in multiple ways, on top of compliance we use that of course to understand the customer, to use the customer data to provide a better customer experience. When it does come to compliance, that is more useful for player safety.

“All kinds of human behaviour, including gambling, has four different status’, there is the ‘so-so’ state, which is the starting point. Then there is the regular state, problematic, and at the end there is pathological and addictive behaviour.

“We use AI to detect these players and to understand how they move in this spectrum. We have all the data about our customers, so we know when they log in, when they log out, what deposit methods they use.”

Kayhko continued: “We score the customers to give them a risk score and so when the customer is moving towards, or is being a problematic player, or going all the way to addiction, we have a human factor where a risk analyst comes.

“To do all this without AI would be incredibly difficult or we would only be able to detect the problematic players when they contact us through customer support.”

The discussion then delved into the use of AI and the reliability of the technology with regards to compliance. Karl Davies-Barrett, WW cloud solution architect at Microsoft, specifically highlighted that when it comes to your opinion on the subject matter, you either love it or hate it.

“I think people live in two camps at the moment there are the ones who believe the AI is a solution to everything and there’s some people who believe that AI is not going to take over the world,” emphasised Davies-Barrett.

“But, if you boil down what we have at the moment, our AI is very narrow. It’s a narrow AI that takes a subset of data and then processes it and its subject to bias. So, we need to iron out a lot of bias in the programming of AI that we have.

“What we are looking at, at Microsoft, with our open AI initiative is this natural AI where we look at broader AI which takes into account multiple factors of a player. Not just particular subsets of data that we are picking, but also environmental factors and then allowing us to weigh those up and bring all those together, pretty much like a human does.”

BMIT CCO Nick Tonna, agreed that more needs to be done for AI to be fully integrated to a high level, specifically in the gaming sector. However he is optimistic that as the world comes out of this global health pandemic, more of an emphasis will be put on implementing AI in compliance methods as it can ease regulatory stresses and increase effectiveness. 

He added: “My belief is that AI will start to become more of a reality across many industries and also in gaming.”

“Why is this? Well in the one hand it enables business and gaming operators to gain efficiency through the optimisation of certain machine processes but also at the same time it increases the effectiveness and speed at which decisions are made.”

Another widely discussed topic is the threat of cyber attacks and how much emphasis should put into cyber security. The panel unanimously agreed that as the industry begins to grow in the virtual world, the threat of attacks will also increase and so measures should be implemented to ensure that customer safety and operator reputations are not affected.

Davies-Barrett said: I think anybody is a target. The bigger the price the bigger the target, the more people will be on your surface area of attack. If you look at microsoft we receive billions of attacks a day on our cybersecurity defence centre.

“I think it’s going to be similar as to what gaming operators are going to experience, if there is money involved and you’re a potential target. The issue is getting that threat intelligence and building up that threat intelligence, understanding what the attack vectors are on your surface area of attack. 

“Security, however, is never a ‘done job’. I always live by one motto in security and it’s that only the paranoid survive.” 

Tonna agreed: “One of the most common security threats that we see targeting the gaming industry is DDOS, or Distributors Denial-of-service.

“If players cannot access the site then the operator cannot offer the service and the consequences mean that players might move on to competitors, it’s not just lost revenue. So, DDOS mitigation is part of the ABC’s of cybersecurity from an operator perspective.” 

While CasinoBeats Malta Digital has closed its virtual doors, there is still the opportunity to view all the content, including the panel on technical compliance, on demand by registering for the event.

If you would like to again access to the on demand content, which features 130 leading speakers then visit the event’s official website: https://sbcevents.com/casinobeats-malta-digital/.