The holidays are here, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve. This is always a special time of the year with office parties, company dinners, friends throwing house parties, and all the time that we spend with our families. However, there is also all of the rushing around with the Christmas shopping list. The hassle of the crowds at the malls, and in some regions there is a weather problem on the roads. Also the planning and scheduling of all the holiday activities and buying new dresses, shoes, etc, etc for all those events.
The bottom line is that the holidays can be a joyous time, but also can bring a lot of stress and possibly some domestic quarrels. This is where video online games come in to relieve that stress or at least reduce it. A recent study of the millennial gamers consisting of one thousand gamers showed that 55% play video games in order to reduce their stress levels. And 47% think that playing video games can increase their happiness even when away from the screen. Half of the respondents also claimed that online gaming is a form of fantasy that breaks the pressure of their daily lives.
Of course there are the single player games that do not require an internet connection and then there are hundreds of high adventure, fast-action multiplayer games where you would be competing against people all around the world.
Which are best for you depends on your type of stress and your other preferences.
Just a few days ago, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) issued several new licenses for online gambling, sports betting, and a few fines at their monthly meeting. The PGCB also gave interim approval to an online gambling petition for Presque Isle Downs, owned by Churchhill Downs, and one other to a joint venture of an as yet unbuilt Stadium Casino project.
The breakdown of the new licenses are:
- Two online gambling licenses,
- Three sports betting diplomas
- Five fines to the state’s licensed gaming operators.
Oddly, the joint venture of Cordish Gaming and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment) in Philadelphia for the unbuilt Stadium Casino project has hit a snag and at the monthly meeting of the PGCB, the Stadium representative actually asked the committee to reduce the scope of the license which means that poker betting would not be included.
In the case of sports betting, the PGCB approved the petitions for sports betting for
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack,
- Rivers Casino,
- and SugarHouse Casino.
Those sports betting operators now join Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino and Greenwood Gaming’s Parx Casino bring the total sports betting permits to five.
Regarding the fines mentioned above:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia was fined a total of $40k
for two infractions allowing the operation of non-compliant slot machines and for shoddy record-keeping in Roulette Chip Discrepancy Logs.
- Presque Isle Downs was fined $45k
for five incidents of individuals under the age of 21 gaining access to the gaming floor where they played slots and table games and consumed alcohol.
- Parx owner Greenwood Gaming was penalized $22,500
for three instances of putting progressive slots into play without the approval of the PGCB’s technical field rep.
- Genesis Gaming Solutions was fined $8k
for failing to submit their required annual financial statements on time for three years running.
That’s a wrap!
Well, here we go again… it’s time to shop for Christmas gifts. If you have a gamer in your family or if YOU are a gamer, here’s a short list of the best online games stocking stuffers. Do not delay because this year, Black Friday sales have already started! By the way, although we called these games ‘stocking stuffers’, many of them would be just fine under the Christmas tree.
Red Dead Redemption II
This is one of the most popular games that has been recently released and it’s sure to be on the wishlist of many gamers. Red Dead Redemption II is from Rockstar Games and it’s actually a prequel to Rockstar’s 2010 hit Red Dead Redemption. The game is set in the 1800s and follows the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the shootem’ up gang that he led. Available on Xbox One and PS4.
Sea of Thieves
Just about everyone likes a pirate adventure so that automatically puts Sea of Thieves at the top of millions of Christmas Santa Claus lists. Sea of Thieves is an online shared pirate world where players, alone or with a crew, sail the open seas in search of treasure. However, every pirate ship is out to discover and hoard that same treasure, so it gets dangerous as the struggles begin.
God of War
God of War is a mythology-based action-adventure video game franchise series. The series began in 2005 and totals eight at this time. God of War is a single-player game that is very popular and proves that many online game players desire to just get lost in a mythological adventure by themselves without a lot of other players running around messing things up. Of course, being single-player, it also eliminates the problems of bullying, trash talking, and female harassment and sexism.
The PlayStation Plus 1-Year Subscription is a hot deal on Amazon’s Black Friday sales. Amazon has dropped the price from $59 down to just $40 for the 1-year subscription to PlayStation Plus. The PlayStation Plus subscription will allow you to play games online on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.
In addition to being able to play games online with your friends, Sony, (the publisher of PlayStation), provides a few free games each month. That means more savings for you. Plus, PlayStation Plus members can get discounts on new games. And of course, the PlayStation subscription would make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas!
Although Black Friday is actually the day after Thanksgiving, the Amazon Black Friday Sale is Live Now through Friday, November 24 and Amazon is boasting that new deals are added every five minutes, so it’s a Christmas shopping bonanza!
A few of Amazons Sale Items are:
- Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $139.00
- All-new Echo Dot (3rd Gen) for $24.00
- Fire HD 10.1-inch Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free for $99.99
- Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote for $34.99
- Blink XT Home Security Camera System for $78.99
- Echo Dot Kids Edition for $49.99
- All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, 8-in HD Display, for $89.99
- Echo (2nd Generation) for $69.00
- All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet 8-in HD Display for $49.99
- All-new Echo Plus (2nd Gen) for 109.99
Everyday more and more people around the globe are trying their luck with online gambling. The money spent at online gambling casinos is predicted to reach $73.45 billion USD by 2024. Psychologists say that a little time online gambling can be a stress reducer, but it can also be a catastrophic bank account reducer if one is not paying attention!
Tip 1: Most important is that you only gamble at licensed casinos.
The gambling business is the most competitive industries online. It’s a cut-throat type of business. Some casinos make it difficult for players to withdraw their winnings with the hope that they will bet more and lost more. A casino that is licensed is a casino that is less likely to stick their neck out in any type of fraudulent activity since they do not want to risk losing their license.
Tip 2: Read the Fine Print
As the old saying goes: “The devil is in the details”. If you don’t take the time to read and understand the casinos Terms Of Service and other policies, you might as well walk down a dark alley with $100 bills hanging out of your pockets.
Tip 3: Don’t Download Software
There are some online casinos that require that you download their software in order to play. No! Play only online at their website. The reason should be clear. Having their software on your computer gives them access to your computer. Don’t do it!
That sounds like just wishful thinking to many gamers that read it, but it’s true; it’s happening as this post is being written and the cash winnings are likely only to get bigger and bigger in the future. That’s mostly due to the fact that smartphones are becoming more and more popular around the world. Currently, there are over 2.5 billion smartphones in use worldwide and by 2025 it will rise to 8 billion according to Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
One online company that’s at the leading edge of this is skillz.com. Skillz offers hundreds of games for iOS and Android smartphones and they run tournaments with most of those games. Imagine winning a cash prize justs for playing solitaire? Wow! Of course, you will need to be very good since you would be competing against the best in the world. One success story in the news is of a student paying their way through Harvard with their esports winnings: not bad.
So who is competing in all these lucrative esports games? Well, let’s look at who owns the smartphones; according to Nielsen.com, 98% of those aged 18-24 own a smartphone and 97% of those aged 25-34 own a smartphone. At ages over 65, the percentage drops down to just 68% and we bet they are using the smartphones to stay in touch with the kids and their grandkids.
This is a wide open opportunity to reach for fame and fortune!