Every gambling machine in the UK’s betting shops is being updated with software designed to detect and prevent problematic behaviour in players.
The system locks gamblers out of machines for 30 seconds if erratic or excessive play is detected.
While the brief lockdown is in effect, warnings about safe gambling are displayed on the machines’ screens.
One expert said the enforced break was “probably not long enough to have a positive effect”.
The artificial intelligence (AI) Anonymous Player Awareness System was launched this month by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), an industry group representing 90% of the UK betting and gaming market.
Among the behaviour patterns it tries to detect are chasing losses, spending too long on a single machine and playing a succession of games rapidly.
“It was rolled out to all our machines in our 1,600 shops in early November,” a spokesman for Betfred told the BBC.
“These alerts are now operational on machines in all 3,200 Ladbrokes and Coral shops,” a Ladbrokes Coral spokesman added.
William Hill confirmed the software had been installed on its betting machines, too.
The Telegraph reported that other firms across the industry may also adopt the software.
Thousands of shops have already installed the technology on betting machines, according to the BGC.
When an enforced break is triggered on a gaming machine, staff in betting shops behind the counter receive an alert, a BGC spokesman said.
“The staff behind know and probably would come out to check you’re ok and have a discussion with you if there are any issues,” he added.
The BGC had already rolled out the system for players who used personal accounts to log in to and play games. It would take previous problematic gambling behaviour into account when analysing play.
However, live behavioural analysis has now been extended to anyone using a betting terminal, whether they log in or not.
Some have questioned how effective the 30 second breaks will be.
“This is a step in the right direction but obviously needs to be monitored and evaluated,” said Mark Griffiths, professor of behavioural addiction at Nottingham Trent University.
However, he added, “The mandatory break is probably not long enough to have a positive effect.”
In a study of Norwegian gambling machines published in September, Prof Griffiths and colleagues evaluated whether an enforced 90 second break could curtail problematic gambling behaviour.
The Pentagon has signalled a delay to a decision on whether to award a lucrative cloud-computing contract to Amazon or Microsoft.
The company’s Amazon Web Services division secured a contract with the CIA in 2013 to allow the spy agency to offload work to its computer servers.
That success helped it gain other public-sector work and it now says that more than 2,000 government agencies use its cloud technologies.
Microsoft’s Azure division also provides cloud services to the US intelligence community, and it is the favourite to win a second Pentagon cloud-computing contract out for tender.
The Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (Deos) contract involves providing email, calendar, video-calling and other productivity tools to the US military and is expected to be worth about $8bn.
There had been speculation that the DoD might not want to award both Deos and Jedi to the same provider to avoid becoming over-reliant on a single company.
Mr Bezos has acknowledged that his ownership of the Washington Post – which is often critical of the current administration – has been a “complexifier”, but has said that the president is wrong to consider him an “enemy”.
Mr Bezos has, however, been clear that he believes Amazon should provide services to the US authorities, even if its causes controversy.
This has included supplying facial-recognition technologies to the police as well as pursuing the Jedi contract.
“If big tech companies are going to turn their back on US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble,” Mr Bezos told a conference in October 2018, following Google’s pull-out.
One factor that could act in Mr Bezos’s favour is that he has resisted pressure from some of Amazon’s own employees to drop the surveillance software firm Palantir as a client of Amazon Web Services because of its reported links to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Palantir’s co-founder is Peter Thiel – a billionaire tech investor who advises President Trump.
However, his view on Jedi is unknown.
Bloomberg reported last month that Mr Thiel met Mr Trump and Oracle’s co-chief executive, Safra Catz, at the White House last year when Oracle was still seen as a contender.
The news agency said the possibility of Amazon winning the Jedi contract was one topic discussed, but did not report the detail of what was said.
A a spokeswoman for Oracle told the BBC: “Thank you for reaching out. We decline comment.”