Payments Collaborative Study Data May Help Identify Potential At-Risk Gamblers

LAS VEGAS – (March 29, 2023) –The University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute (IGI) released new research that identifies various clusters of payments behavior from data provided by Sightline Payments.  IGI’s Payments Research Collaborative studied data from gambling payments companies to understand how payments behavior can support responsible gambling efforts.

Sightline contributed data to IGI from nearly 100 million transactions across the full spectrum of gaming operators—online casino, mobile sports betting, pari-mutuel, lottery, and cashless gaming at casinos. From that data set, IGI researchers explored whether transactional data could be used to differentiate between thousands of customers.

The study found that more than 88% of customers exhibited patterns of behavior that were not suggestive of any unsustainable or harmful behavior. Within the remaining 12%, researchers found three clusters of behavior that exhibited payment behaviors that may represent customers who are at potential risk of experiencing harm.

The researchers first described each customer’s payment behavior according to the frequency, amount, intensity, and variability of their deposits and withdrawals, as well as the time of day they made deposits and how often deposits were declined. They then used a machine-learning algorithm to cluster similar customers together based on these payment behaviors.

The researchers identified the following clusters:

  • Two clusters highlighted the supermajority of players whose activity levels and patterns map to existing research that indicates most individuals gamble responsibly without experiencing harms.
  • The smallest cluster of customers, comprising 1.2% of the sample, exhibited a high volume of deposits and withdrawals, as well as high variability in their deposited amounts. Given the high variability in the amount deposited and overall high net spend, it is possible that these customers engage in unsustainable gambling behaviors
  • The second smallest cluster, comprising 2.5% of the sample, had the highest deposit activity, with an average of 15 deposits per week. These customers had the highest number of declined transactions – a potential red flag that might indicate their frequency or amount limits were reached.
  • The remaining customers, comprising 8% of the sample, had transaction frequencies, amounts, and variability and net spend that were higher than the majority of customers in the data set.In most cases, these frequencies were not as high as the two smaller clusters. These customers had the lowest number of withdrawals per deposit – approximately one withdrawal for every 53 deposits.


“As digital payments have helped fuel the immense growth of online sports betting and online casino, understanding how digital transaction data can identify potentially harmful behaviors is critical for helping people wager responsibly”, said Dr. Kasra Ghaharian, Senior Research Fellow at IGI. “I want to thank Sightline for the opportunity to work on such an important project. These findings will be critical for building interventions for people who have or might develop a problem.”

“This Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Sightline’s collaboration with IGI and Dr. Ghaharian on this study is critical to understanding the role that payments play in identifying problem gambling markers of harm,” said Omer Sattar, Co-CEO + Co-Founder of Sightline. “This research will serve as a foundation to build next-generation solutions that help identify customers who might have issues with their gambling behavior.”

Sightline will leverage these groundbreaking findings to help reduce problem gambling harms for players who fall into these clusters.

The full IGI study can be found here.


About Sightline Payments

Sightline Payments is the U.S. sports betting and casino gaming market’s leading digital payments provider and mobile app developer. Sightline leverages cutting-edge technology to apply modern solutions to a traditionally cash-based industry projected to grow to more than $150 billion in the next few years. Sightline’s suite of mobile solutions gives consumers a safe, secure, and responsible way to fund their online and in-person gaming activities and enables casinos to offer cashless wagering and personalized loyalty options across the entire property. With more than 1.5 million Play+ accounts, 3 million mobile loyalty platform downloads, and 80+ partners across the sports betting, lottery, racing, and online and brick-and-mortar casino markets, Sightline is uniquely positioned to transform the traditional gaming landscape. Learn more at


About University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute:

UNLV International Gaming Institute (IGI) has provided research-based solutions, cutting-edge insights, and executive education to the gaming industry for more than 28 years. It houses several centers and initiatives focused on key needs in the global gambling world, including responsible gambling initiatives, the Center for Gaming Innovation, the International Center for Gaming Regulation, and the Expanding the Leaderverse initiative. Each of these addresses a vital need in the global gaming industry. For more information, please visit

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