Online culture magazine limn has an amazing article on the use of high-tech behavioural profiling in casinos that lets the house target its gaming to where it cashes in most.
Due to the fact that most games are now networked and most punters have been persuaded to play by a swipe card that can be tied to their personal details every last action can be recorded and analysed.
There is now dedicated behavioural analysis software that allows casinos owners to see how they can best target specific demographics.
The casino’s data cloud, when animated and queried, had rendered visible the fleeting, real-time contours of a behavioral group whose constituents, seated at individual play terminals and immersed in the solitary activity of play, were likely unaware of their kinship. Casino managers attempted to profit from the proclivities of this touch-point collective by carving out a physical space for its members and formally inviting them to gather there—not to socialize, but to continue to interact with their own game screens. Although the players were affiliated by age, gender, game preference, and ultimately a common gathering site, the collective they formed was “virtual” in the sense that it took shape and subsequently became meaningful through casino data analysis and visualization software rather than through self-selection, voluntary participation, or shared experience.
The article is a little jargon heavy but it gives an candid insight into how you appear to the data-hungry casino.
By the way, the whole issue of limn is on ‘Crowds and Clouds’ so there’s plenty of other great stuff for people interested in social psychology.
Link to article on ‘Crowd Contouring’ (via @somatosphere)
Link to latest issue of limn on ‘Crowds and Clouds’
2 thoughts on “Behavioural profiling in casinos”
J. Lehrer did a bit for the New Yorker on the “psychology of casinos.” Similar ideas.
Here’s a link for anyone interested:
I’ve only been at a casino once and it struck me as one of one of those “sick buildings” like malls that have terrible air which can affect one’s judgement (i.e. make you throw your money away – even though alcohol is obviously another cause). I wonder what other personal information is collected on those swipe cards.