Earle Hall, President and CEO of AXES.ai, was recently named Chairman of the International Gaming Standards Association (IGSA).
Earle G. Hall has seen it all in the gambling industry. Having spent years walking casino floors, Hall has witnessed the highs and lows of gaming, from people having the time of their lives to those who let their retirement savings dwindle and struggled in the aftermath. The latter made him realize he wanted to be part of the solution to problem gambling, and he saw something compelling in the challenge of fixing the problem without sacrificing casino revenue in the process. Rather, he says, the right solutions can benefit the industry as a whole, as well as the individuals who inhabit it.
As president and CEO of fintech company AXES.ai, an IoT-based cloud information management platform that licenses actionable data and applications, Hall has long wanted to work with a research university to fix some of the industry’s biggest issues. His product, which uses artificial intelligence in real time to assist gaming programs, could enhance players’ experiences, but only to a certain extent, and it couldn’t fix the problems of money laundering and gambling addiction.
“Since the inception of the company, our dream was to find a university that was A.I. focused, gaming-focused, and really took to heart what we believed (in) – and what we believe (in) is the day there is no money laundering,” Hall told No Line Podcast. “The day that there’s no problem gamblers, the revenues in the casinos will go up. Why? Because they will be able to target [the clients] faster, better, and more precisely, the clients so that they play more, have more fun and have more enjoyment.”
Hall realized that dream through the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute, donating $150,000 towards accelerating artificial intelligence research into responsible gaming. AXES will also provide UNLV access to the company’s 57 billion lines of data for quantitative testing and preemptively detect issues. Within a confidential setting, AXES removes every piece of data that could be of prejudice to customers. AXES hopes such data can help clients generate more revenue in a safer environment.
AXES first got involved with the university via an invitation to attend UNLV’s annual Gaming Regulation International Policy Summit (GRIPS), a week-long immersion seminar focused on current gaming regulatory policy, methodology, & leadership. Hall was “blown away” by UNLV’s advanced research in problem gambling, quantitative data, and artificial intelligence.
He recalls immediately telling UNLV’s research department how he could contribute to their work. “I have to thank [Interim Executive Director for the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation] Craig Ferreira and [Distinguished Fellow in Responsible Gaming] Alan Feldman and everybody else that showed up and said [what was needed]. It’s been ‘yes, yes, yes’ all the way,” he says.
UNLV has worked with other companies like Sightline Payments and Global Payment Gaming Solutions to analyze the gaming industry’s transition towards cashless wager — a collaboration that Hall calls “groundbreaking.” He believes having data from both Sightline and AXES will be beneficial in not only tracking the money going in and out, but the speed of the money going in, if they’re changing the game, and 18 other metrics that AXES tracks quantitatively.
“The part that [AXES] would like to contribute to is the quantitative behavioral analysis of the client while they’re playing the machine,” Hall shares. “Our dream is to eradicate addiction. What we plan to add is [to] look at how the players’ behavior is evolving.”
Hall says his company has received positive feedback from its shareholders and its community regarding its new partnership with the university. He hopes this will lead to more companies not only becoming involved in donations, but also providing data to UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, particularly its A.I. program.
“AXES is not a person. It’s not a company. It’s a culture and a collectivity of human beings that really deeply cares. They’re just the most special people that I’ve ever worked with [in] my entire career.”
“The research that UNLV is doing now is that pivotal moment,” says Hall. “And everybody that gets involved is going to have a place of pride for years to come. Knowing that we all gave that extra push to eradicate gambling, and to empower gaming.”
Hall plans to extend those goals to his term as IGSA chair as well. “When we eradicate problem gambling, we can get rid of the finite bad,” he says, “and we can focus on the infinite good.”