Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment has announced that it is working with the Harvard Medical School to develop software which can identify problem gamblers.
The software will use an algorithm that can identify addictive behavior, alerting gaming operators who can then inform players of their risky behavior, have problem gambling groups contact the player, or even restrict play and close accounts.
Bwin has been working with Harvard for the past several years to produce the software, and began running trial tests on its website since September. In that time the company has monitored 3,000 users and actually identified and intervened in a handful of cases.
Commenting on the software Harvard Medical School Addiction Division Supervisor Howard Shaffer said, "The research has identified the behaviours associated with gambling problems and then identified what the predictors are."
Research has shown that about 1% of players are problem gamblers, and various operators have been working to develop new methods of identifying and assisting them in overcoming their issues. Many sites offer opt-out and links to gaming assistance sites, but no one solution is completely effective.