AI Technology used in iGaming Businesses in Canada

There are WAY more uses for AI than just Google Assistant, Siri or Bixby. Source: Google Assistant

As the years go by technology evolves continuously and alongside that evolution, our reliance on technology evolves also. But humanity wants shortcuts. That’s where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in. AI can be used for many things like analyzing data, it can be used to run programs to operate machinery in factories, and eventually, it’ll be used to remove our need for manpower.

But how is AI currently being used within iGaming businesses in Canada? How is it having an impact on the industry and where could it go from here?

AI replacing people and cutting costs

Replacing the need for manpower is where I want to focus our attention first. How can we use AI to replace the need for manpower? What specific use cases are there for doing such a thing?

Purely as an example, say you walk into a brick and mortar casino in Montreal, and you go up to any table game, there will be a human dealer, or a human dropping the ball on the roulette wheel. You also have people staffing bars and waiting on tables, security staff, and more.

If you use online casinos like BetMGM or CoolBet, you’ll get a video feed of a live table in a studio. Where a HUMAN deals cards to the “slots” given to the limited number of customers around that table and the same can be said for roulette in this situation too.

What if you didn’t have to pay for people to be the dealer in these live video feeds? What if you could cut out the cost of that and effectively run a stream where you have an AI-controlled dealer manning these tables for you, 24/7.

There are plenty of new online casinos in Canada in places like Ontario and the rest of the world for that matter that would love to eliminate those costs on labor as well as the extra running costs of having camera equipment and people with the knowledge to run it etc.

Just a few of the Live Dealer options that some sportsbooks have. Source: Bet365 Casino

To put it into perspective. It’s worth taking a look at the running costs of a casino in Canada and these are all going to be complete estimates as no matter where I look I can’t find any accurate breakdowns of the day-to-day running cost of an average-sized casino. So let’s talk about estimates but we’ll be as smart as we can about it.

Firstly, wages. When you’re talking about the labor costs which is where this all started, say your casino is open 24 hours which a lot of them are, you’re going to need staff there all day every day. You’ll be paying security staff, you’ll be paying bar/waiting staff and chefs, and you’ll be paying managers to run the joint and staff on hand to repair machines.

Now just for the sake of this, assume that they are ALL on minimum wage which is never going to happen, but minimum wage in Canada is currently $15.50, so multiply that by 24 hours and then the amount of staff you need to run the place.

Say a rotation of 6 bar staff, 8 chefs, uhh 15-20 security staff, 4-5 maintenance staff, a manager, and a few supervisors/assistants plus maybe 20-30 floor staff rotating through the day. You’re talking around 70 staff per day. We’ll divide that number by 3, assuming they’re all on 8-hour shifts. 8 x 15.55 = $124.40. $124.40 x 24 = $2,985.60. $2,985.60 x 3 = $8,956.80. So on just paying a bunch of staff for one day’s work you’re looking at probably $8,500 – $10,500 when you take into account casino sizes and differences in wage etc.

Then you’ve got utility costs, you’ve got gas, electricity, and water. Now I can’t really find any numbers out there for water or gas and those would fluctuate massively depending on the time of year. However, I have found some numbers for electricity and these are rough estimates of course. BUT some of the bigger casinos in Las Vegas are reportedly spending upwards of $270k A MONTH on electricity bills. That is insane. Breaking that down you’re talking $9k PER DAY. Okay, sure.

I know what you’re thinking, what does that have to do with anything. Look I get it, I’ve done a few extra laps of the track to get to my point here but what if you could take out having to pay, 10 members of staff per day, plus the electricity costs of running cameras all day every day PLUS the cost of the cameras themselves? Replacing all of that with some basic rigs running a bunch of AI scripts, you would need to pay for somebody to maintain them sure, but how much money do you think that would save daily? Thousands. And these savings adds up and increases those profit margins drastically over a period of 3-5 years.

Helping protect customers

Another way AI has been used in the iGaming industry in Canada is to help with responsible gambling. You remember at the start when I said about how you can use AI to predict patterns? Well, it has been shown that AI can be used to identify potentially addicted gamblers or perhaps some gamblers that may be at a high risk of becoming addicted before they even seek help, purely by detecting problematic patterns.

It does this by assessing multiple factors, such as the clientele meaning how much money they’re potentially earning, their age, potential property value given their address that is given upon sign up etc. It’ll run those statistics alongside behavioral data like how often you visit, what time you visit, how much you throw in at certain times of day and then it’ll cross-reference them all with transactional data. This would be how much money you deposit and how frequently you deposit, it’ll also assess your win-loss ratios and scan for any problems with paying credit cards also.

Customizing your experience

AI can also use that same data, while helping to protect the customer, to cater the experience to be better suited to the customer so they have a much more fun time gambling. Offering specific offers and promotions directly to you, whether you’re based in Montreal or Ontario or anywhere else in Canada. It can even help show you specific sections available in sports betting so you can see what options and markets are available on local teams.

At the end of the day this is the main thing about gambling, it should ALWAYS be FUN first. If it no longer becomes fun because you find yourself losing out too much or feel like you’re chasing your money back after a loss, you should always seek help and there are plenty of places you can go to receive that help.

That’s going to do it for this one, we could talk all day about the potential uses for AI in Canada’s iGaming industry moving into the future. But we’ll have to save the rest for next time. For now, have you had any experiences with AI? Is the AI future something you’re looking forward to or potentially scared of? After all, it’s the whole basis of the Terminator movies.

Tonia Nissen
Based out of Detroit, Tonia Nissen has been writing for Optic Flux since 2017 and is presently our Managing Editor. An experienced freelance health writer, Tonia obtained an English BA from the University of Detroit, then spent over 7 years working in various markets as a television reporter, producer and news videographer. Tonia is particularly interested in scientific innovation, climate technology, and the marine environment.