Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become ever more prevalent in business strategies in recent years, with igaming businesses aiming to utilise the technology to enhance its range of products and services.
Speaking on day two of SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital, Américo Loureiro, the director of casino firm Solverde, expressed his optimism for AI implementation into the industry, and foresees that it will be difficult for operators to increase the customer experience without the use of the technology in the future.
“For sure what we are focusing on is to increase our customer experience, the winning experience, and that leads to revenue and revenue on the lower end. I’m not seeing operators managing their operations without the help of AI in the near future. Talking about revenues, I think it’s too much over the next three years with everything on the internet,” Loureiro commented.
“Our plan is for the next three years to increase the AI on our operations and get benefits from this, we know that this is the very beginning and we want to be on top of this because the ones that agree more with AI and manage AI will be the most successful operators.”
Edvinas Subacius, the chief data officer of Rootz, a firm that has placed AI at the centre of its business, also highlighted that the technology is not just a tool for the near future, but it can also be utilised in the igaming industry right away, particularly when it comes to maximising staff efficiency.
“It was most definitely a strategic decision to place AI in the centre of thought when we started designing the platform,” Subacius explained. “This vision is continuing up to the level of hiring of every single employee. We make them aware of this vision and this goal of automating our boring tasks and encouraging people on their Thursday to contribute to that.
“We know that we can increase player turnover or spending up to five per cent by doing recommendation engines. At the same time, we know that we increase their lifetime value between ten per cent to 20 per cent so four times more than actual spending by applying AI to manage our bonus cost and promotional values.
“But these are all confusing numbers and I think the best measure that companies need to come up with to analyse or answer this question is how many operations you can get done per headcount or how much more revenue does the headcount generate.
“So for example, our company has about 70 employees, and we are running operations equal to the other companies, which have 300 to 500 employees. So the sooner you start with AI, and the closer it is to the heart of your mentality and your platform, it can create the efficiency of 100 per cent or 1000 per cent scale. It’s not five per cent anymore.”
Steven Paton, the business solutions advisor for BMIT Technologies, also highlighted that AI is ready for its integration into platforms, with the technology providing companies with an enhanced customer experience which Loureiro alluded to prior.
“From the gaming industry, we are all aware that data collection from customers and markets has been going on for decades and this has allowed these algorithms to be now present in the form of AI and Machine Learning going further forward,” he said.
“It is absolutely imperative to understand those touch points where these clients come and where the customers come to enjoy a gaming experience. Whether they are here for the fun aspect, whether they’re just doing it for the sake of it. It’s being able to utilise those touch points, cross channels.
“I think the next step is definitely the transitional phase of utilising big data and machine learning to push that further over the next five years.”
Neel Davda, head of gaming EMEA at Bold360 also discussed the methods in which clients are being introduced to AI.
He added: “Having worked with a number of gaming clients, two of the largest globally over the last couple of years, what we have tried to work with them on is really a 30/40/60 model. So the main drivers really have been contact deflection and with an initial deployment, where we talk about that initial use of simple types of FAQ, we can immediately start to see that.
“If you think about any type of interaction you’ve had in the past with the kind of rudimentary chatbots or virtual assistants, usually you ask a very simple question and it says it doesn’t understand.
“So our ability is really to cluster those and understand those straight off the bat and then with that, apply kind of a one shot learning methodology where we are able to show from there the insight as to did the person click on that, was there a successful outcome, was that positive or negative feedback, and if there was negative feedback how to solve that very quickly. Without the need to code, without need to wait for a person within a professional services department to turn that around for you.”
The panel, which was moderated by iGaming Performance’s CEO Paul McNea, also discussed a range of topics including the effect AI can have on analytics, data, and user retention whilst also discussing when to opt for internal AI solutions or to purchase externally.
Anna Gaivoronska, head of business intelligence and analytics at Parimatch summed up the inter/external dilemma by explaining that it depends on what the platform’s goals are with AI integration and also which sector it plans to implement the technology.
She stated: “It often depends on the time factor. If you need results quickly, you can buy externally and ,at the same time, you can develop solutions in house for more long term projects. So basically, if you need to have results in the near future, you can buy some solution. You can invest money in that project. But if you’re looking in the long term for a more customised solution, you should build in house.”
As the panel was coming to a close, Paton provided the final words in the discussion as he highlighted that the future of AI/ML in the igaming industry is certainly in the payments sector. However, he stresses that it is crucial that a customer centric vision is created alongside that development.
Paton concluded: “I do think that the payment ecosystem is going to be very much a pressing movement forward. I think we also have to pay attention to the customer centric aspect alongside that with the customer experience as an overall agenda that should be moving forward. At the end of the day, we are here because our businesses are customer centric and need to be able to facilitate the needs of those customers, as an individual and as a unique individual who will then take it forward.
“Whether it’s a payment ecosystem, whether it’s a customer service query, whether it’s CRM or bonus’ I think they’re all compiled together to be almost just as important.”
SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital is a FREE to attend virtual conference and exhibition running from 8-11 September. To register for your free ticket or find out more please visit – https://sbcevents.com/sbc-summit-barcelona-digital/