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Q&A: EPIC Risk Management x Mindway AI

EPIC Risk Management has recently confirmed an innovative new partnership with Mindway AI, which will see the two organisations come together to provide innovative solutions to predict potentially harmful gambling behaviour, using a mixture of artificial intelligence, neuroscience, lived experience and best-in-class training.

The two organisations will roll out the pioneering approach via their mutual clients’ online gambling platforms, so that any play that demonstrates a trajectory towards gambling harm can be identified much earlier than at present, and interventions made via the operators’ customer care and support teams as deemed appropriate.

Both partners are rightly excited about the potential that this collaboration has in terms of helping to minimise the number of people worldwide who experience gambling harm, so we caught up with Mindway AI CEO Rasmus Kjaergaard (RK) and EPIC’s director of safer gambling Dan Spencer (DS) to find out how the arrangement came about and where they see it having a major impact.

How did the partnership come about and what attracted you to mutually agree this arrangement?

RK: “The conversation around this partnership started during the pandemic at the SBC Virtual Summit. Dan Spencer and I had a brief conversation about our respective organisations partnering up. At that time, we were not really ready and fully matured to partner up with such a great and very professional provider organisation such as EPIC Risk Management, but we are now. In the meantime, both of our organisations have got some great collaboration and partnership going on with our mutual customers, which makes this an even more logical fit for all involved.”

DS: “Mindway AI are a company that we’ve admired for a while now. Two years ago, I took part in a demonstration of their products and was impressed immediately. As an ex-gambler in recovery from addiction, I saw that this technology could well have identified my own harmful behaviours at a much earlier point in my journey. Our team at EPIC deliver programmes in training and consultancy, early intervention and interaction with players is the mantra we live by and we knew that Mindway AI could help with this.”

What are the two parties committed to delivering and who will be the beneficiaries of the work?

RK: “At Mindway AI, our mission is to empower gambling operators to enhance player protection. We do this in our innovative and sophisticated solutions for the detection of at-risk and problem gambling. The solutions are very much scientific-based, including artificial intelligence, neuroscience and human safer gambling psychologists’ assessments. With this partnership between EPIC and Mindway AI, we intend to bring enhanced player protection to the fore, as EPIC provides best-in-class training of gambling operators’ employees; crucial for a fully tailored and optimal use of our solutions, for the greatest benefit of the players.”

DS: “This partnership is really about providing better service to our mutual clients. More and more of our clients are now using both organisations to provide an end-to-end solution in identification, training, consultation and quality assurance. EPIC have been utilised to put lived experience context behind the at-risk players identified by Mindway’s GameScanner software. We will now go forward to co-design risk assessment training to back this up.”

How do you see AI being a game changer in predicting and reducing gambling-related harm?

RK: “To utilise the strength of AI in predicting – and after this reducing – gambling-related harm, an algorithm needs a very strong target. Problem gambling is a complex matter, not something you can determine by a few simple indicators. Moreover, when it comes to problem gambling, there is no sole indicator of such in any data set. We’ve come across this challenge by developing our patent pending ‘Virtual Psychologist’ approach, combining AI with assessments and human safer gambling experts, clinical psychologists, and researchers. We not only rely on computational power when it comes to AI, but also a human twist. This approach has been tested and validated by GLI with a very high result in terms of accuracy.”

DS: “Strengthening the link between data analysis and customer contact is a keystone in building strong compliance capability for any operator. Two crucial elements are that the intervention is both well-timed and conducted by someone who has the skills to make a difference. Mindway AI is the best solution I’ve seen to help us get this right for our clients. “

What sort of successes have Mindway AI already achieved in this sphere?

RK: “We have received significant industry acknowledgement and won numerous industry awards for our solutions and know-how, from the likes of the Vixio Global Regulatory Awards, SBC Awards and EGR Nordics. We have undertaken more than ten years of research in neuroscience, neuroimaging and problem gambling and have become a provider to gambling industry organisations of all sizes. Our solutions are in operation in more than 15 countries and each month, our GameScanner software detects the activities of 4.5 million active players.”

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