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Flutter reopened its international headquarters in Dublin yesterday.
The online gambling giant’s refurbished home now boasts seven floors and 164,000 square feet of flexible work space for 1,600 employees. A £15.5 million (about $21 million) investment from Flutter funded the renovations, with an additional, undisclosed contribution from the property owner.
Claremont Group Interiors designed the headquarters, which features a live roof with three beehives that will produce honey for at least two of the headquarters’ restaurants. There’s also LED lighting, and 72% glass surfaces for energy efficiency gains.
It’s huge, it’s green, it reduces the company’s carbon footprint, and that’s not even what struck me as the cool part.
On the ground floor of Flutter’s modernist headquarters will be a convenience store. At first, that sounds like a step down from the fantastical features I’ve described. However, it is extremely exciting.
Market X Flutter will be Ireland’s first “frictionless” store, operated independently by Compass Group. It will use artificial intelligence technology and 90 cameras to allow customers to simply walk into the store, pick what they want to buy, and leave. These customers will include the general public, not only Flutter employees. There will be no waiting in lines and no cashier, and payment is contactless. It’s cause for celebration for tech heads and introverts alike.
The AI powering the whole thing comes from another company, AiFi. Its computer vision technology does not employ facial recognition. It therefore keeps customers anonymous save for their payment details. It only tracks their items and their departure, and sends them a receipt after.
Computer vision, AI and related technologies are of great interest to the gambling sector these days. Not everyone is keen on the idea, and Rhode Island has a bill on the table to ban the use of AI and biometrics for gambling.
It’s certainly interesting to see Flutter’s plans to host an AI-driven store, even if they’re not operating it themselves.
Flutter responded to inquiries about the store, but clarified that “there are no applications for gambling” for the technology at the moment.
Even so, AI, biometrics, and facial recognition technologies keep moving forward. Within the gambling space, this technology is not only useful for marketing but also for security.
Market X Flutter makes it clear that Flutter knows what the future holds and what consumers want.
The shop may not be a direct path to AI-driven gambling. However, it will be interesting to see if its presence has any influence on, or serves as inspiration for, the 1,600 employees working above.