In the Philippines, a country known for being wired to the hilt; not necessarily fast-wired, but wired everywhere. A good broadband connection is typically only 10Mbps in the home and public hot spots would not be much better. Anyway, a recent survey is revealing that 4 out of 5 Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996 age 23 to 37 years old, are playing games online. Fifty percent of those young folks consider themselves competitive players and play online on a daily basis.
This is not too surprising considering that the Philippines sends more SMS messages than any other country in the world. Filipinos are hooked on their smart phones. Everywhere you go, you would see them staring into the smartphone screen. Standing in line at the ATM, inside the bank, inside the supermarket, (sometimes even while pushing their shopping cart around), in line at fast food stores. Most are playing games and others are scrolling their Facebook accounts. And of course, reading their old text messages and sending new ones.
You might wonder how the residents of a country that is considered to be a ‘poor country’ can afford all the online activity. First, sending a text is cheap, it cost just one peso which is about 2 cents USD. Going online with a prepaid data connection is considerably more expensive so only a few can afford that. Then there are the hot spots, in every mall, Starbucks, etc. etc.
This particular survey was done by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. The 1,200 respondents were chosen by Singapore-based firm Lightspeed Research, but they were not guaranteed to be a random sample, for some reason.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) executive director Kevin O’Toole, the iGaming certificates and licenses previously issued by Pennsylvania’s PGCB will become effective on July 15, this year. Which means that the state’s online gambling licensees will be permitted to launch their casino and poker products at that time.
The licenses include ten land-based casinos and three operating partners all of which will be allowed to launch on the same day in order to keep the playing field equal. This will bring the number of active states allowing online gambling to four as Pennsylvania joins Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. (West Virginia has recently approved similar legislation, but that legislation will not go into effect until 2020.
There’s just one hitch, the US Department of Justice, DOJ. In January, the DOJ softened it’s ruling on the 1961 Wire Act, but the DOJ opinion still mentions that gambling transactions, (any relevant data), must not cross state lines. While this may seem like an easy criteria for the operators to meet, banks often connect to other financial organizations in order to complete a transaction and that could be a big problem.
We should find out soon though because New Hampshire is currently dealing with this exact issue in the US District Court for New Hampshire.
In a surprise move, Iraq’s parliament has passed legislation that bans some popular online video games including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite’s Battle Royale. The lawmakers claim that these online games promote violence, killing, and extreme bloodshed. To put it lightly, Irag does not need any more of that!
“…due to the negative effects caused by some electronic games on the health, culture, and security of Iraqi society, including societal and moral threats to children and youth…”
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), is made by South Korean firm Bluehole Inc. In this game up to 100 players are parachuted onto an island where they have to fend for themselves by finding weapons, ammo, shelter, and food, all while fighting the other players. Epic Game’s Fortnite has a similar theme. Both games are extremely popular with a global membership.
Furthermore, the Indian state Gujarat’s government is also considering banning some of the more violent online games. Other states and countries could be following soon.
Some people have said that this will only drive those games underground where players will have to sneak in a back door and pay extra money to play.
In today’s online gaming world, there are dozens of First Person Shooter, (FPS), games; some gamers say that the niche is saturated. Nevertheless, our editors have scoured the current selection of FPS games for the PS4 and the voting is in: Titalfall 2 takes the Blue Ribbon.
Titanfall 2 is a first person shooter video game, developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. Titanfall 2 is actually the latest version of 2014’s Titanfall which was released worldwide back in October of 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The gameplay of Titanfall 2 has the players controling Titans which are mechanical-style exoskeletons.
Exoskeletons are ‘external skeletons’ that provide:
- armor for protection,
- vicious weapons,
- ability to run on walls,
- cloak themselves.
Initially, Titanfall were multiplayer games, but Titanfall 2 comes with the option of a single player FPS gaming experience. In this version, the single player follows the story of a character named Jack Cooper, a rifleman from a local militia who bonds with his mentor’s Titan after his mentor was killed. Of Course, the challenge is to survive the onslaught of a certain number of enemy Titans in order to be the last man standing.
The official government advertising watchdog in the United Kingdom, the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority is reporting that quite a few online gambling ads are being shown to children on the web. Of course, no one can really control where kids will browse on the internet, but there are certain rules that restrict where gambling ads can be placed.
The Advertising Standards Authority set up a wide area type of sting by creating many dummy children profiles which then simulated the known browsing habits of children online. For over two weeks, the advertisements displayed were monitored and the Advertising Standards Authority found 43 gambling operators that were displaying ads on sites that children can easily access.
Some of those sites include:
- 20 YouTube channels
- 20 various children sites
However, only five gambling operators were found to actually violate the code which bans all online gambling ads targeting individuals under the age of 18:
- Vikings Video Slot,
- and PlayOjo.
One of the gambling operators, Vikings Video Slot, turns out to be the most common violater accounting for almost half of the advertising. The response from Viking was “The advert did not lead to under-18 gambling.” But the point remains that the children saw the ads and therefore ‘the desire’ to gamble was triggered.
Most casino gamblers will tell you that slots are the most difficult game to win money since they are so random and so electronically controlled. However, in some rare cases, the slots can be very lucrative. A case in point is the news of a man named ‘Jay’, (and a few of his friends), that beat the online casinos in New Jersey on two occasions, once in January and then again in February of this year to the tune of almost $1 million. But Jay didn’t simply get lucky, he had a legal advantage and the casinos were more or less forced to pay off his winnings.
How did Jay do it?
Jay is what is known in the casino gambling circles as ‘an advantage player’ which means that he studies the slot games for built-in flaws or opportunities that the slot game manufacturer did not expect. In this case, it was two different slots games: Golden Egypt and Ocean Magic. Jay noticed that when there are two bonus coins showing at the top of the game, (this is normal, but rare), there will be more Wild icons in the game and therefore a much better chance of winning.
To make a long, (and technical), story short, Jay would simply increase the size of his bets to the maximum during the bonus games, then reduce his bets until the next bonus spin.
Sorry, but this is not recommended for the casual player. Jay has been doing this type of thing for almost 20 years.
A report from Experian claims that playing video games is the third most popular online activity at 51% after shopping at 90%, and personal banking at 88%. Most of this activity is happening on smartphones due to their
- ever-lowering prices,
- always-on connectivity,
- hot spots everywhere,
- and increasing technology.
People have found a way of passing the time when:
- waiting in an airport,
- between classes in school,
- waiting for supper to cook,
- riding a bus,
- riding a subway,
- riding a train,
- waiting in line anywhere.
Although sending email and social chat are still mainstays, playing a game online is just a click away with any smartphone. With this much activity and convenience, online games are getting a lot of attention from:
- new players,
- game developers,
- and advertisers.
According to a Newzoo report, the consumer spending on games will likely exceed $180 billion in 2021. And most of that spending will be done with mobile devices, in fact, already mobile spending accounts for almost 80% of the revenue on the popular online app stores.
What was once a little known online activity for a few enthusiasts of multiplayer online games is now a multi-million dollar industry which is predicted by experts in-the-know to grow a whopping 25% this year reaching over $178 million USD. This revenue boom is expected to continue at least into 2020 where it could surpass 200 million USD.
Those that stand to benefit from this growth include:
- game developers,
- live venues,
- streaming platforms,
- TV networks,
The revenue from eSports mainly comes from:
- media rights deals,
- ticket sales,
Much of the eSports growth is due to the increasing audiences which is expected to grow 18% this year to about 30 million. According to some, the viewership will reach 50 million by year 2023. And it’s getting easier and easier to join the global audience as the livestreaming of the multiplayer games can be seen on sites like Twitch and YouTube. Plus, there are live venues that show the games on a large screen such as Madison Square Garden in NYC and Key Arena in Seattle.
In case you’re wondering, this trend is not just in the U.S., it’s very much alive in Europe and Asia, especially in S. Korea and China. All this is quite remarkable considering that only a few years ago, advertisers wouldn’t even consider reaching out to kids playing online games against each other.
888 Holdings PLC, often known as just 888.com, has purchased Dublin-based BetBright’s sports betting technology platform which is one area that 888 was outsourcing to a company named Kambi. Kambi Group Plc is a business to business sports betting provider marketing it’s front end user interface, odds compiling, customer intelligence and risk management. That outsourcing was a huge financial burden on 888, but as soon as 888 can integrate BetBright’s technology with their present platform, they will save a bundle and drive up their profits as well.
Just this past Monday, 888 announced to it’s investors of it’s deal with BetBright’s parent company Dedsert Ltd for almost 20 million USD in order to acquire the operator’s sports betting platform, it’s Dublin office, and it’s staff.
888 Holdings is based in Gibraltar and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. 888 got it’s start back in May of 1997 as Virtual Holdings Limited; founded by four Israeli entrepreneurs. Their first website was Casino-on-Net.com which is still active even today boasting over 1,000,000 punters over the years.
This acquisition of it’s own sports betting product gives 888 complete ownership of it’s gambling products:
- and bingo.
Although the addition of it’s own sports betting product will save 888 royalty fees, the cost of integrating the new product with it’s current line is said to be huge, driving stocks down 2%.
Announced just yesterday, the Today Show is offering an application that includes free games for mobile phone users. The app can be downloaded from itunes.apple.com or play.google.com. However, the Today app has more than just a few games, it has all or most of the content from the actual live broadcast and it has archived shows.
“Find your favorite recipes, celebrity interviews, parenting tips, uplifting stories, healthy living, pop culture, and national news.” Today.com
For those of you not familiar with the Today Show:
“Today, also called The Today Show, is an American news and talk morning television show that airs on NBC. The program debuted on January 14, 1952. It was the first of its genre on American television and in the world, and after 67 years of broadcasting it is the fifth-longest-running American television series.” Wikipedia.org
A few of the hosts on the Today Show are:
- Savannah Guthrie
- Hoda Kotb
- Al Roker
- Craig Melvin
- Carson Daly
- Jenna Bush Hager
So, now you get have games, news, weather, and commentary all day long no matter where you are all in one single application on your iphone or android device. The games mentioned on the Today Show’s website are:
- crossword puzzles,
- card games.
Great while riding the bus or subway.