When you try to stop somebody from doing something that they love, they inevitably go underground, and gambling is a great example. We are all risk takers after all. So why wouldn’t we take that risk and gamble even if the lawmakers forbid us. But what exactly goes on underground? Well not everything that happens underground is as sordid, seedy and as scary as you might imagine. A lot of the gambling that happens away from the lawmaker’s eyes is purely for fun and not profit. But that doesn’t mean to say that there is no profit to be had.
I played a game of Risk the other night with my 12-year old son. “I bet you a £1 that I can beat you Dad.” I took the bet and duly lost. I handed over the money to a beaming smile. “What a great idea.” I thought.
It seems I am not the only one to have had that thought. Step up to the plate the social media gaming giant Zynga. We all know that Zynga, in partnership with Bwin, plan to release 180 real money games in Europe during the first few months of this year. But were we all thinking bingo, slot machine et al? I know I was. But in reality the real hook is within the social games, and not the casino games. Games like Farmville and Chefville have just as much pull as the likes of Texas Hold’em Poker. Instead of betting on the success of your flush, you could be betting on the fact that you build your virtual restaurant quicker than your opponent.
If you are excited by the prospect of social gaming gambling then the place to be is the UK, with Zynga seemingly using it as an experimental play field, whilst its natural home of the United States continues to try and get its act together. With New Jersey set to join the likes of Delaware and Nevada in a triumvirate of States offering online gambling, how long before the all-seeing eye of Zynga heads back across the Atlantic Ocean?
Where’s that Risk board? I want my £1 back.