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All you need to know about online gambling vs. gamblification

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The modern-day wonderland, also known as cyberspace, holds such a vast pool of possibilities and potential for progress, that entire industries have managed to emerge from its depths. To name a few, retailers were able to set up independent e-commerce platforms, education institutions digitalized their classes and entertainment took on many different formats.

With regards to the last instance, there is one format that seems to be on a constant trending tendency, showing no signs of an approaching decrease – online gambling. As an industry, the gambling entertainment segment has been present for as long as people can remember, with this latest variant adding all the more to its appealing nature.

After all, there is hardly anything that can hold people’s attention for hours at a time, except for the many varieties of the same form which have developed to complement and improve the overall experience. Still, in order to understand the branches, it is primarily important that one understands the core.

The Ins & Outs of the Online Gambling Industry

Online gambling is descriptive in itself as a type of industry, considering that it is based on a well-known existing concept that simply transformed due to tech advances and a need for improvement. In the heart of its operations are the numerous online gambling platforms – online casinos, poker rooms, bookmakers and lottery and miscellaneous sites alike – all providing the gambling dream.

As easy as it seems, this is a demanding task and one that requires the use of many additional functionalities, starting from online payment processing services to game software creation. The legal issues in gambling matters have always posed the greatest concern, especially since there are still many countries worldwide that consider this practice extremely punitive. Hence, in order to provide the ultimate experience, such online gambling platforms seek regulated jurisdictions, oblige to their security provisions, and follow through on all industry standard stipulations.

With official policies in order, the online gambling industry has swiftly moved on to incorporate additional features and techniques, or invent new models for their industry’s purpose, specifically. Mobile casinos, live dealer games, and virtual reality software is just some of the variants that came about, as well as gamification and, more importantly, gamblification. While they all serve the same purpose, platform compatibility and game format still tend to focus on technicalities, while the element goes deeper into the purpose of the service, and all the ways in which it can be put to profitable use. 

Gamblification – Definition, Variants & Legality

Gamblification is yet to become a full-on household term, as it is solely used to denote a specific practice that is rising in popularity among online gambling operators and social platforms alike. Its origins are traced back to gamification, known as the practice of using non-gambling elements, such as loyalty programs, in order to enhance personalization and achieve proximity to each individual player. After all, a custom-tailored approach is the ultimate goal in any servicing industry, as it maximizes both client satisfaction and provider revenue.

In turn, it aims to bring revenue and increase traffic on recreational amateur games and social media platforms in general by employing specific gambling elements. Business models, sweepstakes and different kinds of contests that aim to bring out the competitive side of players and thus increase their interest are most commonly used for gamblification purposes. They make use of all kinds of variants of the actual real-money forms in order to mimic the experience without actually providing a ‘real value’ reward.

When put like this, it is just another strategy to optimize day-to-day operations of such social platforms. There are many different types of models, games and similar strategic elements that have gained popularity over the years, included the likes of social casino-like games, tournaments, virtual currency contests and sweepstakes, inter-player wagering platforms and full-on fantasy sports league services.

However, a closer look into the legality of the matter implies more in-depth consideration, especially since the practice of online gambling is defined by the presence of three elements – the deposit payment, the outcome determined by chance and not skills, and the reward, should the outcome happen to favor your predictions. The elimination of any of these three elements allows gamblification to take place without fear of crossing the line towards illegal online gambling services.

Namely, some require payments in order to offer virtual currencies, but by eliminating chance and allowing player skills to influence the outcome, these gamblification-based models are just as legal as ever, turning profits at the same time. The same end is possible through different means – virtual chips and currencies are provided from the start, but in-game purchases later returned as prizes still accumulate revenue.

Online Gambling vs. Gamblification

While the latter has in a way originated from the former, there is precisely enough room to draw a distinction between the two. For one, online gambling is, quite straightforwardly, the act of playing games of luck and chance through an online platform, with the potential to include anything from multiple platform compatibility to hands-on gamification of its services. On the other hand, gamblification aims to make use of the gambling action – drawing cards, placing bets, pressing spins and anticipating the outcome – without entering the real money online gambling industry.

Learning the difference is the bare minimum, but being aware of the risks posed by both practices is the only way to distinguish legal from illegal, and right from wrong. Online gambling is already widespread to mainstream advertisements, accessed the public sphere and is slowly making people more comfortable with the idea. Gamblification models have already achieved this, as they are purely social in their foundation, but profit-oriented in their purposes. All parties involved in such business models acting as a gateway to problem gambling or even illegal and unregulated online gambling services should be aware of the risks and rewards in an equally explicit manner, in order to achieve entertainment in its proper form.


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