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Jef Claes-Evil By Design

In this talk, I'll share what my experience has been working in the gambling business, how moving to events helped us gain a better understanding of the domain and which techniques and models casinos have perfected over the years to keep people playing. Last year I ventured into the domain of (online) gambling. Given that the industry has been around since forever, I expected most problems to be of the technical kind. As it turned out, the struggle with technology was only part of a bigger problem; to move forward we needed to fully grasp the industry and its consumers.

Events started out as a way to dismantle a legacy system, but quickly proved to be an effective tool to gain a deeper understanding of our domain. Visualising event streams, we discovered patterns that helped us identify what drives different types of users.

Having a better understanding of what customers are looking for, we dove into existing literature to learn which techniques and models casinos use to cater for each type of user. We learned how to program chance while staying true to the Random Number God. Even when variance is brutal, casinos have enough data and tools to steer clear from the pain barrier.

All of this entails interesting problems and software, but isn't my code damaging society? Or is gambling just another human trait?

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