Science Running Today’s Casinos

Science and psychology has long played a surprisingly large role in the development of casinos. However, the links between the two are becoming stronger than ever.

This is due to the extreme level of competition within the gambling industry, with countless companies all scrambling to be able to steal a slice of the pie.

The global industry for casinos and the world of iGaming as a whole is now worth around a whopping $500 billion a year. It is clear that gambling is now very big business indeed.

It makes sense to lean on science as a way to maximize earnings. How are casinos doing this?

Science helps to build the customer experience

At both online casinos and their bricks and mortar equivalents, customer experience is one of the top priorities. It stands to reason that science plays a part in its development.

Mathematics is also involved in a big way. Mathematics has a hand in everything to do with a casino, from the odds used on certain table games to the variance of online slots. Return to player is another area within slots where mathematics is part of the equation as well.

At bricks and mortar casinos, science has long been used in the design stage. Casinos famously never have clocks on display, as this keeps guests disconnected from the outside world. A lack of windows is a design choice made by many casinos for the same reason.

Additionally, the layout inside is carefully created in order to encourage people to stay inside and gamble for as long as possible. One of the ways casinos do this is by placing their bathrooms in illogical locations. The idea is players will spot other casino games they want to try out on their way to and from using the bathroom as a result of the maze-like layout of the buildings.

However, there are signs that the industry is moving away from these designs, with many experts believing that they are outdated. Roger Thomas is one of the casino designers to be trying new things such as embracing natural light in a bid to create spaces people will enjoy.

Slot games are another area of gambling where science plays an increasingly big role. New games have more and more pay-lines, which improves the chances of a ‘partial win’ and encourages people to keep spinning the reels for longer, even if they are losing cash overall.

AI increasingly adopted by online casinos

Lots of changes have happened to online casinos in the last few years, including a sharp spike in their popularity during the course of 2020 as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis.

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence is one of the latest branches of science that will have a profound impact on the iGaming industry. Some online casinos have already turned to AI to help solve issues in areas like customer support and this is set to become even more common.

AI is also being used to try to identify players at online casinos who could be at risk of addiction, as well as finding those who already seem to be struggling to control their gambling.

The rise of AI in the casino world can be seen through the development of a computer named Libratus. Back in 2017, the AI masterpiece won countless hands against top-rated poker players, even though the game is one where the human element was thought to be important. 

During the Brains vs Artificial Intelligence competition, Libratus took more than $1.7 million in chips even though the computer had been a 4/1 underdog in the tournament’s betting odds.

Smart, personalized data used to target customers

Casino customers who play at online sites are likely to have received tailored promotions. These have been developed through the use of smart data that tracks how they play online.

These personalized deals make it more like that online casino players will come back to a site to gamble more, which the operator means hopes they will lose more cash in the long run.

While AI can be used to identify problem gamblers and offer them help and support, this data can also be used for more nefarious purposes. It is easy to imagine how an online casino site with an insight into how a player gambles could use this information for their own advantage.

People may not have even realized they gave the green light for science to be used for this purpose. Information about data is usually buried in the terms and conditions, which most casino customers will not have taken the time to read carefully as they signed up for an account.

With the use of science within the industry continuing to grow at a rapid rate, the possibilities for AI and virtual reality at online casinos seem to be absolutely limitless.

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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