Introduction to Gaming and Gambling
Gaming and gambling are not always associated with each other, but many people have a misconception of what gaming entails and how it differs from betting. Gaming is essentially the gambling with an unknown outcome with the intention of winning some other thing of value. With that said, there is still some grey area between gaming and gambling, especially in terms of the law. Gambling therefore requires three key components to exist: risk, consideration, and a reward.
The act of gambling involves risk. In fact, gambling activities may involve any number of different activities that require an element of risk. For example, slot machines are often considered gambling because in order to win, you must “lay” money into an invisible coin slot machine. This can be considered a risk in that without a good strategy (like getting lucky) or a bit of luck, your chance of hitting the jackpot will be close to zero.
Another characteristic that separates gambling and gaming is the idea that gaming requires an underlying “virtual currency,” usually a game currency (like a “real” money) that can be used or exchanged for goods or services in the same way as money bought at a bank. Gambling on an item that has no inherent value requires another structural fidelity to exist: the promise to pay. That is, if you lose the bet, you must first reimburse your virtual currency, which may mean that you’re forced to cut out on some of your favorite activities. Just like a credit card, the promise to pay can be a powerful incentive for someone to stay in line and not lose out. Just like credit cards, however, if you win, then you are fully reimbursed – just as you would with a credit card.
Finally, the last component that separates gambling and gaming is often seen as the most obvious – the ability to set limits. Gambling is simply a matter of chance; it requires no consistency and relies on luck more than anything else. For this reason, many people feel that the only reason a gambler will lose is because they have overextended themselves financially; if they only gamble a little, then they won’t get themselves into debt. The gambling impulse may be strong, but its reliance on luck – coupled with the lack of discipline to keep to the original plan – can be a huge problem. The good news is that if you know how to limit your gambling impulse, then it’s fairly easy to stop before it gets out of control.
In contrast, gambling relies on a more concrete structural fidelity, one that can be measured in terms of the number of times one pays for goods or services (a “roll” of the roulette wheel, for instance). This fidelity is important because it ensures that one will make money if they plan to keep on playing. In short, the longer one plays, the more likely it becomes that they will lose. It is therefore the adherence to a set structural form that accounts for the success of many online gambling websites.
Finally, there is another important factor that both online and traditional gambling employ – the use of random number generators or “kamagames” in which players are given specific parameters regarding how much to bet and at what odds. These numbers are generated using complex mathematical algorithms and no internal logic, so the odds of a player winning are entirely dependent on chance. However, the randomness of the raffle is used to generate interesting patterns that can be used to infer possible future outcomes; players can work through these to deduce which kamagames are likely to come up next. Gambling and gaming are similar enough that it is easy to see how players can both make money and lose money; however, the difference lies in the structure of these financial transactions.