SCU, Professor Nerilee Hing.
Photo Contributed John Waddell
SCU, Professor Nerilee Hing. Photo Contributed John Waddell Contributed

Uni pioneering gambling study

ALL bets are off when it comes to CQUniversity's latest algorithm to protect online gamblers.

The uni has been commissioned to analyse wagering industry data to develop a list of behavioural indicators and a predictive algorithm that can detect early warning signs of harmful betting.

Bundaberg based, lead investigator Professor Nerilee Hing said "developing this predictive model to ultimately protect consumers who bet online will be the first research of its kind in Australia”.

She explained that the predictive algorithm can be embedded into wagering operators' websites to automatically detect customers at risk. The research team, includes CQUniversity's Associate Professor Matthew Browne, Professor Matthew Rockloff, Professor Brijesh Verma and Dr Alex Russell.

It will enable online gambling operators to identify customers displaying signs of harm, and can also be embedded into online wagering systems to generate dynamic messages tailored to individual customers based on their betting patterns.

"The developed algorithm will utilise statistical machine learning applied to actual wagering transactions data,” Associate Professor Browne said.

"Unlike some commercially available systems developed overseas, our model will be independently developed from industry and non-proprietary. We will be testing the predictions of our model using established measures of gambling harm and problem gambling severity.”

Professor Verma said "we will develop novel feature selection and ensemble learning techniques and incorporate them into our predictive model which will help us in achieving highly accurate predictions and also in identifying the most significant indicators from real-world wagering industry data”.

"Enhancing consumer protection in online wagering is important because rates of harmful gambling are much higher amongst online gamblers than amongst those using other platforms,” he said.

The research has been jointly funded for $300,000 by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.



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