Gambling on the Cloud: How Big Data is Changing the Gaming Industry

By Gidon Ben-Zvi

3.30.2016 twitter linkedin facebook

Big Data has changed gambling by making both bookies and gamblers more sophisticated.

The fast paced gambling industry

The fast-paced video gaming industry is almost bursting at the seams. Today, the electronic gaming industry is valued at over 90 billion dollars. And it isn’t just major companies who are contributing to this rapid growth. There are thousands of smaller developers and new designers creating games for emerging platforms, like social media or mobile devices.

Gaming is a $91B market in 2015, and grows 5%-15% per year, depending on the market

Worldwide Phenomenon: Gaming has exploded in every region across the globe.

There are more than two billion video game players in the world, turning this virtual world into a real data goldmine.

What’s causing the surge in data? Video game data is streaming in from several sources: gameplay data, micro-transactions, social media, price points, payment systems, in-game advertising, virtual goods, multiplayer interactions, real-time events and content updates.

With so much of it available, developers run the risk of recording ‘data for data’s sake’. So, driven by a market in which it’s increasingly hard to retain players long enough to monetize, the focus is shifting toward the right data to generate actionable insights.

Gaming Goes Big on Data

When it comes to collecting customer data, the gaming industry is in a unique and enviable position. Unlike other sectors where customer data is often incomplete, games makers and marketers can access a wealth of live data about every single one of their players. Because video games happen in a virtual world, it’s possible to measure just about every aspect of a game.

26% of gamers play video games in bed. 9% play on the job

Anytime, Anywhere: There’s virtually no place where people aren’t playing video games. Source: Woobi

With video game companies routinely gathering 50 terabytes of generated gaming data per day, Big Data technologies are making it possible to improve games, streamline operations and increase revenues.

By segmenting players based on their behavior, games are being adapted and augmented to suit their style. Information gathered by Big Data Analytics platforms enables rapid and highly accurate game personalization.  Not only can this be used to change games, it can facilitate methods to monetize each player.

The four ways big data affected gambling

Let’s look at the four major ways that big data has affected gambling and casinos:

  • Big data analytics helps bookies and both online and offline casinos establish more realistic odds
  • Big data analytics and data science helps card players in developing better game strategies
  • Big data analytics helps players predict outcomes and wager better bets
  • Big data analytics improves casino marketing and revenue by synchronizing all assets

Gaming Challenges, Big Data Solutions

The goal of an effective BI system in the gaming industry is to gather data from several types of external sources (i.e. social profiles), and analyze it against streamed online data with historical stored data, to arrive at conclusive decisions about a customer’s spending patterns, tastes and levels of satisfaction.

The average game player is a 35 years old maleWho’s playing? Over the last few years the average age of gamers has increased significantly.

In addition, companies in the hypercompetitive gaming industry must be able to guarantee uninterrupted play sessions.

Gambling on the Cloud

Cloud-based architecture has proven to be able to uniquely address the technical challenges posed to the gaming industry. A cloud offering may be the only feasible option if a company needs terabyte-scale storage and availability to billions of records for immediate streamed analysis (i.e. click streaming), at minimal investment.

Taking it one step further, Big Data Analytics database vendor SQream Technologies has identified a combination of values aspired for in a single analytical platform – speed, scale, capacity and cost, offering gaming companies a fully-managed cloud-based Analytics-As-A-Service data warehouse platform on the cloud. The platform enables near real-time analytics on massively ingested online data analyzed against years of historical, stored data, in a cost-effective manner.

Cloud GPU databases like SQream DB on AWS enable smaller gaming companies to compete with giants such as Sony and Microsoft, by providing them with access to unlimited event logs; scalability flexibility, high compression ratio leading to savings in storage space; and real-time actionable analytics, at minimal investment.


Now that the gaming industry is rapidly embracing big data technologies, the industry is expected to make waves in novel methods of customer engagement, optimized and targeted advertising, and enhance the end-user experience.

Cloud-based solutions could be the key to the development of video games. By replacing more complex, expensive alternatives that require heavy IT involvement with a high performing, scalable, service-based analytics solution, Big Data is being harnessed more quickly and effectively by both established gaming companies as well as newcomers.

Learn more about SQream DB

Learn more about GPU Databases ↗ and GPU Database SQream DB ↗