Skin Gambling: How fun turned into a menace

Everything big and truly promising has a vulnerability of catching onto inhibitors for its growth, the gaming and esports industry is no stranger to this risk. The revenue in the esports market touched $1 billion in 2019 for the first time with a viewership of around 400 million that is expected to surge past 550 million by 2021. This is a prominent sign of how the industry is thriving with leaps and folds. But when a sports industry has so many viewers and an upward revenue graph, there are certain unethical behaviours bound to creep in.

What is Skin Gambling?

One such practice is popularly known as ‘skin gambling’. To understand this term, it is important to be familiar with the term ‘Skin’.

A skin is a graphic or audio file used to change the graphic or audio interface of the game. These are just visual elements and unlike the best casino bonuses on gaming websites, they have nothing more than a cosmetic effect in the game and no direct influence on the gameplay.

The practice of ‘Skin Gambling’ primarily began with “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.” ‘Valve’ introduced skins as rewards that could be applied and shared with other players, to grow and bolster the community. What was started as a reward system and community tool, soon grew out to become an industry virility and a market of its own. At the beginning, there was ‘Steam Marketplace’ to trade, buy and sell skins from inventories for real or digital currencies and the marketplace had restrictions to maintain ethics. But in some time, there were websites that began bypassing the monetary restrictions by Steam to allow higher-value trades for skins. They even enabled betting and gambling on professional matches later on. This practice seeped into other gaming communities as well and it grew so huge that in 2016, there was around $5 billion worth of virtual goods handled, at that point of time. Yes, that is five times more the entire esports revenue in 2019.

The Cause of Concern

Soon, this whole charade caught the criticism from communities and scrutiny from authorities. Concerns were raised over the ethical and moral grounds of this practice. Betting for obvious reasons has outcomes like result manipulation and unauthorized bid placements. Even though it rocketed the growth of video game communities, it was condemned by developers of the games and even took actions to curb them.

The cause of concern with gambling is the long term effect it has on the people and the industry. The majority of the consumers in the esports industry are fairly young people and exposure to such practices tends to develop behaviour and expectations that are not in sync with the general world. Gambling also tarnishes the spirit of the game, be it any game and especially the one, where players are underage for even legal betting. With esports players being young and of impressionable age, there is a disturbingly great chance of them falling on to the wrong side of the line, just to get big benefits in a short time.

Controversy and conclusion

This practice is identified as an industry plagued by people and authorities. It violates various local laws on gambling and sports betting, with young people across the globe falling prey to it. There are several legal sanctions on ‘Skin gambling’ in many countries. Especially in the UK, where the Gambling Commission led an investigation into ‘Skin gambling’ in 2017 and prosecuted two website owners for organizing and promoting underage gambling. According to their report, there were 11% kids between the age of 11-16 years involved in ‘Skin Gambling’. The UK government is adamant on stalling this unlawful practice with its actions and seeks support from parents as well as video game companies.

7 Popular Classic Movies Turned Into Gaming Hits

Showbiz is all about the CGI, high definition graphics, the action and the glitz and glam, all of which is often mimicked by leading gaming brands. The unique partnership between the movie and the gaming industry has on more than one occasion successfully delivered a masterpiece, allowing fans to be a part of the action, romance or fun depending on their movie preference.

One of the biggest industries to boom in 2019 is the online casino industry. The success of video slots based on movies has thrived through the availability of free online slots and as a result, there have been a number of fascinating releases to grip the attention of online audience. According to accurate readings from both movie critics and gaming providers, these are the 10 most popular movies morphed into video gaming.

Gladiator

This golden oldie has proved to be an incredible movie hit with a rather intense storyline. The game is just as intense as you once again witness Russell Crowe perform his artful warrior strategies over 50 paylines and 5 reels. What makes this box office hit remain a popular choice amongst gamers is the 100 free spins bonus round.

Superman

It seems like Superman has been transformed from a comic character into movies, series, games and all sorts of paraphernalia. It goes without saying that this is one comic hero who will most assuredly remain in the top 7 rankings simply based on the popularity of this DC Comic character. On another note, the second Superman and Man of Steel are also included under the title and can also be found in gaming lobbies.

The Dark Knight

No list is complete without the mention of Batman. The Dark Knight Rises was made famous before its release, when fans caught wind of it. What made it a memorable movie turned game was the unfortunate loss of Heath Ledger, a famous Hollywood actor with a bright future ahead, taken far too soon. However, fans are still lapping up the excitement trough the video slot game which has been redesigned to deliver a multitude of bonus features while unlocking snippets of the movie.

Planet of the Apes

Way ahead of its times, in both the movie and the gaming industry, Planet of the Apes has managed to collect a number of fans thanks to outstanding graphics and an intricate appealing gaming interface. Andy Serkisis the mastermind behind the movie and NetEnt is the expert gaming provider to have recreated the movie into a gaming hit.

Pink Panther

Once a classic, always a classic. Pink Panther may be more popular in the gaming realm as our current generation evolves and forgets the classic cartoon hits many enjoyed as kids. Now available for adults, Pink Panther is a progressive jackpot creation from NetEnt and a favourite amongst classical movie and cartoon lovers as well as high rollers.

Rocky

No doubt Sylvester Stallone will be making an appearance as one of the top movie hits, full stop. Now gamers too can enjoy the classic movie theme music, high hits and a number of bonus features which just brings back the world of memories!

Highlander

Now this is one blockbuster to live on with the immortals. Although a true classic, the game can still be found in many gaming lobbies.

Although these are classic movies and the millennial player prefers to enjoy more modern gaming hits, there are also a number available. Twilight, Jumanji, Ted, Jurassic Park and several others have been released in the past year. So should there be any recent movies to make millions, you can bet on it, it will only be a matter of time before it turns into a gaming sensation.

 

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Steve Alten reports his novel “Domain” is being turned into movie before December 2012!

According to author Steve Alten in his May newsletter, he is reporting that his “Domain” series is being turned into a film set for release in November 2012, just in time for the ‘end’ on December 21, 2012.

Here is what Steve reported below:
“Three years ago I optioned the DOMAIN dramatic rights to a film company out of Columbia that has done a few low budget, hi-octane features. DOMAIN would be a big fish for them, but they do quality work. According to their lead producer, they’d film in June and release in November (English, no subtitles). Fingers crossed, updates in June.”

Here is the premise for Steve Alten’s “Domain”:
Archaeologist Julius Gabriel has devoted his life to studying the Mayan calendar, a 2,500-year-old enigma that ends abruptly on December 21, 2012. Many believe this foretells the end of the world. Julius is convinced it’s one of many pieces to a puzzle that could lead to the salvation of our species. He has passed on his knowledge to the only person who ever believed his theories—his son Mick.

It is now the fall of 2012 and Mick is still haunted by his father’s predictions. He’s been committed to a Miami asylum for paranoid schizophrenia, and the dawn of his most feared prophecies is upon him. When inquisitive psychologist Dominique Vazquez joins the team at the South Florida Treatment Center, Mick finds a new listener for his warnings of the coming Apocalypse. What Dominique doesn’t realize is that she is his last hope of saving humanity.