It surfaced recently that some gambling platforms are implementing software controls that limit players’ ability to place substantial wagers on anything from online poker to sports bets. They have developed algorithms that can easily identify those individuals who show an aptitude for gambling, and then decrease the amount that they can bet in order to allow those with weaker strengths to spend – and lose – more. At best, the practice is shady; at worst, it should be considered illegal. However, one company stands out among the rest and continues to support its customers, especially if they’re winning. Betcris, the leading retail and online gaming platform in Latin America, still believes in letting gamblers decide their own fate.
Betcris has achieved its results by treating customers fairly. The platform has a strict policy of only providing a mechanism through which gamblers can place their bets, while maintaining a hands-off approach to how the activity plays out. The CEO of Betcris parent company TV Global Enterprises, JD Duarte, explains, “Bookmakers, especially those in the UK, are often quick to restrict customers or close down winning accounts. Our platform uses machine learning technology to collect and mine data from our customer database to determine customer profiles. These profiles are then used to provide a personalized service to our customers, where winning players are rewarded, not restricted.”
The only interaction Betcris has in the client base is to segment customers in order to better fine-tune its marketing efforts. The platform’s customer segmentation provides a division of its customer base into several groups of individuals that share a similarity in different ways that are relevant to marketing such as wagering type preferences, wagering amounts and other miscellaneous betting habits. This technique of customer segmentation, which is similar to that used in many multinational corporations, is dependent on several key differentiators that divide customers into groups based on demographics, geography and economic status. Behavioral patterns are also included and play a crucial role in determining the company’s direction toward addressing the various segments.
“Driving the business through customer intelligence is smart business,” adds Duarte.
The segmentation originates from a robust analysis program that helped establish the company’s marketing solutions. By using a system called RFM (Recency – Frequency – Monetary Value), Betcris created a system that allows for customers to be segmented into one of several groups for marketing purposes. By segmenting the company’s marketing efforts, it can control costs and work to develop its message depending on the target audience. This helps to drive revenue up while keeping expenses down, and also allows the platform to not go overboard with its marketing presence.
This model is contradictory to what is seen with the majority of the gambling platforms found across the globe, which have taken a position of “revenue first,” and that have proven themselves to be willing to sacrifice legitimacy and transparency in the name of profits. William Hill, for example, has been called out by legislators on more than one occasion for practices that appear to alienate customers only because they win, including limiting many winning gamblers and banning even more.
William Hill isn’t the only one. DraftKings has also been identified as a gambling operator that severely handicaps those who would otherwise be able to make a living placing high-value sports wagers on its platforms. The rise of sports gambling in the US has brought with it a lot of European operators hoping to cash in on the new market, and they’re bringing with them their tactics to try to limit the success of their users.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an important part of any business development in this day and age. Machine learning, a subset of AI that focuses on the creation of algorithms that give computers the ability to learn by themselves, is beneficial, among other things, for the creation of datasets and customer segmentation.
Learning machines, because of their AI component, can take all sorts of data and compile and extract it to be used to improve operations in many businesses. The same goes for the gambling industry, as long as it is used appropriately. While Betcris uses algorithms to better market to its customers, that is the extent of its interaction, as the company knows that, in order to succeed and continue to be the leading gambling platform, it has to provide an aboveboard, transparent and confident solution.