As if online gambling were not already a social problem in legalized, licensed
gambling establishments, there are many places of business that allow betting
under the guise of a coffee house or an internet cafe.
One such place is an internet cafe in Battambang province, Cambodia that was
licensed to provide internet connections, but also allowed customers to place
bets on certain games. The worse part of this particular operation was that
they even allowed children to place bets on the games. In a recent raid,
twenty-two customers were arrested and four of them where under the age of
Fortunately, none of those twenty-two customers were taken off to jail, instead,
they were required to sign a contract promising that they would cease their
activites. After signing such a contract, they all know that if they are caught
again, they will face severe penalites.
On the other hand, all of this internet cafe’s equipment was conficated by the
provincial police. That included 39 computers with keyboards and mouse, 36
headsets, two bicycles, and 16 motorbikes. And the owner of the internet cafe
is being held for an appearance in court. He is basically out of business!
Hundreds of United Kingdom online gambling sites have been ordered to remove,
(or shutdown), their online gambling games aimed at kids! Many operators have
denied that they are targeting children, but the evidence is overwhelming with
the games having cartoon characters and kiddy-type names.
These games lure children in by offering free-to-play gambling games that the
kids can hardly resist. Games such as Piggy Payout, Unicorn Bliss, Jack and
the Beanstalk game, and the Peter Pan game grab a child’s attention with colorful
cartoon-like characters that promise lots of fun and adventure! A total of 450
gambling sites have been order to cease and desist the practice of targeting
This crackdown follows an investigation by the thetime.co.uk that show the
gambling sites trying to take advantage of a loophole in the Gambling Commision’s
rules. They used age verification for anyone that wanted to gambling with
money and allowed all others to play from free. A major problem with this
technique was that the free-to-play experience was basically a big sales
pitch selling the “fun” concept of gambling to the underaged and grooming
them for the future.
Around 450,000 children have been found to gamble in England and
Wales every week, according to The Gambling Commission.
In a report released last year in November, six per cent of 11 to
15-year-olds have betted online using funds from their parents’ accounts.
Ok, you mignt not be aware of the acroym: PUBG, it stands for PlayerUnknown’s
Battlegrounds and it is the seventh-best-selling PC game (13 million copies sold).
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was developed and published by PUBG Corp., a
subsidary of Korean publisher Bluehole.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is popular enough, claiming to have over 2 million
active players, to also attract plenty of hackers and cheaters. Last week over
20,000 players were banned in just one 24 hour period for just that reason.
The service that moderates the game is BattlEye and they claim to be banning
between 6,000 and 13,000 suspected cheaters everyday.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is, of course, a ‘shooter’ type of game where up
to 100 players are dropped by parachute over an island. Once they hit the ground,
it’s up to each player to hunt around for weapons and ammo and kill anyone that
they see. As the game proceeds, the island gets smaller and smaller forcing the
remaining players to have more shoot-to-kill encounters. The last player alive
wins the game!
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was released for Microsoft Windows via Steam’s
early access program back in March of 2017 and it has sold over 13 million
copies in just the following seven months. It has a peak user base of over
two million making it the most popular game on Steam.
A few years ago after the US government effectively made all online gambing illegal,
a few states decided to make some online gambling legal if the players were within
that state’s borders. This was a step in the right direction, but in gambling, the
players share a win-pool so if the only players that are allowed to play must be
physically located within the state, the pool would be very small. This was bad
for the players and bad for the online casino.
After a few years, Nevada and Delaware put together what is called the Multi-State Internet
Gaming Agreement. This agreement is basically regulations that are common to both states.
With this legal innovation, the win pool doubled.
Recently, New Jersey has joined Nevada and Delaware by signing up with the Multi-State
Internet Gaming Agreement. Now the win pool has tripled!
“You’re much more likely to find a game that’s the stakes
that you like, or the time that you like or the type of game
that you like, and when you meet all those criteria, your
likely to have more players.”
~ Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk
Nevada only allow poker action online, but Delaware and New Jersey offer a wide array
of casino games.
As more and more states come onboard, it looks like online gambling in the USA
will once again be completely legal!
Over 800,000 Americans suffer from a stroke every year and there has been
little to no recovery help for them. Until now! Recently, video games
have come to the rescue.
“There are points in time where a patient does not know how
to lift their arm, where to reach and with video games, they
can figure that out,”
~ Steve Childress, an occupational therapist for Ohio Health
Most phyical therapists are continuing with traditional therapy, gentle exercise
and stretching while suggesting the video game therapy additionally. The video
games are played in the privacy and comfort of the patients home. They can stop
anytime for a cup of coffee or cold drink. Let’s face it, playing a vdeo game
at home is a lot more enjoyable than doing exercises in a clinic guided by a
phyical therapist in a while coat.
Of course, the video games that we’re talking about are not the kind where one
sits in a chair and aims their joystick at an enemy or some other sort of make
believe world. These games are specially make for stroke victims and gently
guide the patient through various phyical exercises and stretches that earn them
points in the game.
And video games are not only great for stroke victims, but also good for the
overall cost of their health care. It’s a video win-win!
Although all games have some sort of social element to them, the games
offered by Facebook are termed ‘social games’, because they are being
offered to an existing online social community. Social games are typically
more gentle, (less harsh), and often played with friends in the community.
An interesting fact about social games is that the average player is a
43 year old woman. What makes that so interesting is that the sterotypical
online game player is a teenage male not doing his homeword and staying
up late at night. But, there’s some truth to that image in the world
of Xbox and PlayStation console games and other online games such as
World of Warcraft and a dozen or so others.
The recent survey revealing this fact is from Information Services Group
who was hired by Popcap Games. Other insights gleaned from the survey
results are that 55% of social gamers are female and that the women play
more games daily than men.
Also leaarned is that women are more likely to play games with people
that they already know whereas men are more likely to play with strangers.
Facebook is by far the most popular place for online games with 85% of
survey participants claiming that they have played games there.