A mature reflection on a recent discovery

The following words belong to an acquaintance of mine.

I came across something the other day that I thought I’d share with you. Not that it’s something that I regularly play with, but as a novelty I slipped onto an online gaming site. As it happens it was the 32Red online casino website, but I figure it could have been any one of a number of similar sites that are cropping up targeted specifically at Canadians. I’ve not done an awful lot of research for this. They’re out there if you go looking for them. I imagine they’re pretty similar..

The thing is, as regular readers will know, I’m pretty wedded to my mobile devices (see my list of apps from my post back in January). So it was really only a matter of time before I started adding to my list of regular stop offs..

Sports stuff aside, the way I use my mobile is pretty much task oriented. I tend to use it for what I like to think of as work and what the rest of my family call ‘Sam being Sam’. So this was a little excursion into an unfamiliar territory: Just pure selfish, self- indulgent amusement, just for the heck of it. Well I did think I might write about it, but that came later. Like I say, one way or another it fitted into the category of ‘Sam being Sam’ pretty quickly. It wasn’t life changing and I don’t imagine it’s something that I’ll make a daily habit of, but it was quite interesting for all that. I’d describe it as being like taking a peek into another universe. I guess that’s how casinos have always presented themselves, as a kind of theatrical super reality – ‘this is what life could be like’. But I have to say, I really wasn’t ready for just how slick the whole set up seemed to be..

There were something like 500 different games on there. You’ve got to ask yourself who they’re all for at some point, but there was no denying just how well made the whole set up was. Someone somewhere has gotten really serious about this sort of business I told myself. Who’d have thought it?.

Somehow I’d expected it to be a bit primitive. It was anything but..

Now I’m not much of a gambler. In fact, I don’t even know for sure if I think it’s something that makes the world that much of a better place. But it’s interesting to begin to see just what a big deal online gambling has become (that ‘big deal’ pun was an accident by the way. But I’ve left in in because it made me smile)..

After five minutes of happy Googling I had learnt that the Canadian online gaming industry is worth something uphill of a billion dollars a year. That’s enormous – way bigger than I ever imagined. I’m wondering if I’m in the wrong business!.

I did find myself wondering why they call it ‘gaming’ but I guess it’s not hard to see why you’d try and present what you do in the most favourable terms. I can’t hang them out to dry for that. And clearly there is a market for all those games. That billion dollar figure points to an awful lot of customers..

The thing is, who are all those people? They can’t all be casual sightseers, which is how I’d classify myself. I don’t know that I’ve ever been anywhere that people have started up conversations based on their online poker hobby or their love of slots. How has this industry gotten so enormous without anyone talking about it?.

OK – I know what you’re thinking. There are one or two other online industries that are pretty well developed and which aren’t necessarily the stuff you’d discuss over dinner with the vicar. I know that. But I honestly had no idea that all this gaming was going on..

It made me think. What else is going on out there that I don’t know about? Are you people out there collecting vintage wines without telling me, or following Spanish bullfighting? Are you opening orphanages in different continents or inventing whole new sports without me knowing?.

Listen. I’m supposed to be some sort of a social commentator. If you guys are going to do all this stuff and not tell me about it, something’s not right. You’re not playing fair. That’s it. I’m taking my toys in, and I’m not coming out to play for the rest of the day. So there!


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