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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Casinos and gambling websites, already adept at tilting long-term odds in their favor, are getting a leg up from technology that could inject even more certainty into their profit calculations, Kaveh reports.
But experts worry that tweaks nudging gamers to play more — and bet bigger — could propel some toward excess and addiction.
The big picture: AI and data analytics are making it easier to forecast even the most uncertain outcomes. As we reported Monday, technology firms have built a massive new economy on the ability to accurately predict people's behavior.
"For youth or players with serious gambling problems, the negative impacts of AI-based marketing and gambling operations can be devastating and even life-threatening," says Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
What's happening: Where pit bosses once kept tabs on players and doled out offers by feel, technology is now supercharging marketing and promotions that best influence each individual gambler.
Details: To entice people to spend more, casinos use their troves of data to tweak every aspect of the gambling experience — from marketing and casino layout to the incentives and freebies that get people through the door and then keep them inside. And a world of vendors has popped up to help:
Casinos themselves are tight-lipped about their marketing and data science. Several declined interviews or didn't respond to requests from Axios.
What they're saying: Casino defenders say the worries are overblown, and that analyzing playing data can help problem gamblers rather than hurt them.
Millions of jobs may vanish as conglomerates are forced to kill their traditional business model to survive a new technological age and chaotic geopolitics, says the head of Europe's largest industrial company.
What's happening: Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, tells Axios that a manufacturing revolution is upping the challenge to the world's biggest companies, forcing them to focus only on products or services in which they truly excel.
The big picture: The new geopolitics of nationalism and protectionism — the "I'm first" movement most loudly voiced by President Trump — are part of what's making conglomerates obsolete. They can no longer casually operate across dozens of countries under the assumption that everyone will accept such cosmopolitanism.
Siemens, for instance, has divided itself into three distinct divisions based on its perception of its strengths — industrial, health care and power and energy arms. Now it must localize production everywhere it sells, and establish political connections as well, Kaeser said.
Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty
Last night after the Democratic presidential debates, a couple of the major media outlets corrected Sen. Cory Booker on a claim that Halliburton paid "nothing in taxes" last year.
Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, emailed this morning to say that I was reading the below section of the 10-K backward. Rather than paying $19 million in taxes, Halliburton declared it was owed a $19 million refund.
"'Current Federal [taxes] looks at first glance like a positive number, but if you look at the text above the table, they specify that they are presenting the numbers the opposite way from what you normally see. A tax benefit (that is, a negative number) looks like a positive number, and a tax provision (that is, a positive amount of tax) is presented with parentheses around it, in a way that makes it look negative."
I apologize for the error.
Halliburton did not respond to a request for comment.
Several fancy, white-tablecloth restaurants are coming out with a new offering for diners: Enjoy your food while we take care of your kids, Erica writes.
Gone are the days of mini-coloring books and crayons at the dinner table, reports WSJ. Now 5-star establishments are adding movie theaters, tours or play rooms to keep the kids occupied while the parents uncork the red wine.