AI sports betting platforms’ breaches likely impacting March Madness wagers – Fox News

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College basketball fans from across the country spent the past couple of weeks keeping a close eye on the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Millions of sports enthusiasts filled out and submitted brackets with hopes their particular games’ predictions would become true.

The annual basketball tournament seemingly always sparks a noticeable amount of excitement across the sports world, but it also attracts the casual fan and those who might not normally participate in sports gambling. Several teams will typically compete simultaneously at different arenas across the U.S. and upsets are often plentiful, which adds to the tournament’s allure.

But more and more sports bettors appear to be turning to artificial intelligence to help counter the notoriously unpredictable tournament, which is often referred to as March Madness.

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General view of March Madness signage during the Second Round of the NCAA Womens Basketball Championship Seattle Regional 3 on March 20, 2023, at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut. (M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While AI is certainly a tool that fans can utilize, it is not a perfect science.

Aside from the fact that AI cannot guarantee results when it comes to sports wagers, another potential downside that should be taken into consideration involves the potential exploitation of the technology.

INNOVATIVE AI-POWERED APPROACH TO SPORTS HANDICAPPING CONTINUES PUSH TO RESHAPE BETTING

Cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. The possibility of manipulating the betting markets and taking advantage of vulnerabilities likely creates a considerable amount of intrigue for hackers.

The hacking of sports betting platforms has the potential to not only negatively impact consumer confidence, it can also create serious financial consequences for companies. Billions of dollars are potentially at risk if cyberattacks continue.

People gamble inside Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park, California, on Oct. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg/File)

“With employees streaming games or participating in online betting pools using company devices and networks, organizations are vulnerable to a range of cyberthreats, from phishing attacks to malware infections,” Advizex’s VP of Strategy Matt Gaudio said in a press release sent to Fox News Digital.

Furthermore, artificial intelligence can sometimes be used to exploit weaknesses in AI-powered sports betting systems. Certain AI-backed algorithms can even be programmed to attack weaknesses in online gambling systems. If hackers are successful, the distorted odds could result in a sizable amount of bets being placed under false guises in a matter of seconds.

Cybersecurity experts estimate AI hacking during the NCAA tournaments alone could cost American companies more than 18 billion in losses.

Experts argue the difference between AI investment in China and the U.S. is the fact that the American model is driven by private companies whereas China takes a government approach. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

However, the upside to leaning into AI remains significant, especially for those who cannot afford to or simply don’t want to travel to games. Access to television bundles, streaming and 4K television technology has allowed the average fan to watch their favorite team or player from the comfort of their home, even if they do not live in a given team’s home market.

Machine learning algorithms can also be leveraged to allow various sportsbooks to analyze a given bettor’s patterns and interests to show them personalized recommendations. As a result, users are given a variety of new tools that they otherwise would not have without the technology.

“AI will allow for increasingly personal experiences for sports bettors, and customize quests for users, building upon the type of quests they tend to accept and complete,” said Dan Taren, founder of sports betting platform Scrimmage told Boardroom.

“This is powerful for operators we integrate with to help their users make their betting experience feel personalized to them.”

When enjoyed in moderation and when spending limits are put in place, sports wagering gambling can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy a game. However, it is important that players are aware of the importance of responsible gambling.

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Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, shared that a responsible gambler does not rely on gambling as a source of income.

“As someone approaches the Super Bowl or March Madness or any other sporting event where they’re thinking about making the game a little bit more fun or a little bit more interesting, one, it’s supposed to be fun. No one should ever believe they are going to make a living or a second job placing wagers on sporting events,” Miller told Fox News Digital last year.

Gamblers should also have a specific budget in mind.

“And number two, you set a budget, and you stick to that budget,” he advised.

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