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GADGET - Online Gambling Addiction Detection

Topo Projetos

About the Project

European Commission highlighted the need for regulatory policies to aid in the detection of pathological gambling behaviors, citing “a responsibility to protect those citizens and families who suffer from a gambling addiction.

In Portugal, the Gambling Inspection and Regulation Service is responsible for the control and regulation of online gambling and betting. To comply with operational objectives, this authority receives, on a daily basis, all data related to online gambling activities pursued by every user on every online platform with services that are accessible to Portuguese citizens.

The objective of this project was to implement an AI (Artificial Intelligence)-based system that could capitalize on the vast amount of data collected every day and analyze online user behavior to model and detect the behaviors associated with addicted gamblers.

The problem represents a major challenge for a few reasons: first, the massive amount of data involved (that will require efficient data- analysis algorithms); second, the temporal dimension of the phenomenon we intend to model; and third, the fact that we are trying to observe and affect behaviors associated with a very small fraction of the population. The analysis confronts an additional complication by virtue of the potentially infinite behaviors associated with various kinds of gamblers.

To tackle this problem, we developed and implemented an AI (Artificial Intelligence)-based system that capitalizes on the vast amount of data collected every day by the online gambling providers operating in Portugal and, from its analysis, models the behaviours associated with addicted gamblers and allows for their early detection.

The successful implementation of the system and its integration with the system currently in use by the gambling control authority will enable efficient modeling and detection of online user behaviors associated with gambling addiction.

Our contribution

NOVA IMS proposed a system based on state-of-the-art machine learning methods including, but not limited to, the use of evolutionary-based algorithms and deep neural networks. The proposed system provided a transformative effect on the operations of the Portuguese gambling authority. In particular, the system allowed to compare and characterize the behaviours of online gamblers and to dynamically adapt its output based on the behavioural pattern observed every day for all the users in Portugal.


  • Universidade de Coimbra
  • Turismo de Portugal, I.P.
  • Fciências.ID - Associação para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Ciências

Contribution to the SDGs

  • SDG 3
  • SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 17


  • Funding Programme: FCT, I.P. - Scientific Research and Technological Development Projects in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in Public Administration
  • Funding to NOVA IMS: 146.043,75 €€
  • Duration: 2019 - 2022

News about the project

News about the Project

  • Intelligence System For Online Gambling Addiction 1200X500px
    An Artificial Intelligence System for Online Gambling Addiction Detection and Prevention