• qwerty
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    2 months ago

    Why are online casinos bad? I don’t understand this pervasive need some people have to force their way of life on others and take away their agency over their own lives. It comes off to me as some kind of superiority complex. “They’re too stupid to make their own decisions, I know better what’s best for them, I must protect them from themselves”.

    • PoliticalAgitator@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Sounds more like you just don’t know anything about the gambling industry. They run rigged games in predatory ways. They happily let organised crime launder money for a cut. They fight regulations designed to reduce problem gambling.

      Nevertheless, nobody here is “forcing their way of life on others and taking away their agency over their own lives”. They’re just acknowledging that casinos have a long history of being absolute cunts.

      • sudneo@lemm.ee
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        2 months ago

        They run rigged games in predatory ways.

        I don’t know what you mean by this. Games have a fixed margin which is usually disclosed or can be computed (exactly like the 0 and 00 in the roulette skews the odds in the house’s favor if you want to do just black/red). There are then whole chapters in national regulations about random number generators to ensure the odds are correct and the games are not rigged (i.e., a game certified for 98% should have that outcome). Are games designed to have the house win a 2,5,7,9% margin? Sure, but this is out there in the open, there is nothing to “rig” in the same way having 0 or 00 is not “rigging” a game of roulette.

        They happily let organised crime launder money for a cut.

        At least in Europe, you get audited quite often and AML regulations are very tight. Laundering money via online gambling companies with their cooperation seems quite unlikely to me (and inefficient, possibly, but I don’t know).

        They fight regulations designed to reduce problem gambling.

        Some do, but not all, and not in all cases. Addicts are bad for business for gambling companies, or at least for some of them, moderate long-term customers are generally better (and require way less effort).

        I don’t know what you know about gambling, I definitely think that the ethics are questionable, and I left the industry when I could also for those reasons, but the company I worked for was not very bad in this regards. Maybe you worked/had experience with some of the shady ones (like those who operate in illegal markets using a single license from a random tiny country)?

      • qwerty
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        2 months ago

        Who’s “they”? I don’t know much about the gambling industry but if it’s anything like any other industry then it’s not a centralized monolith but many independent business. As long as the founding principles aren’t inherently corrupt (and in the case of casinos they aren’t. Nobody is forced to play and everyone knows the house has an advantage and in the long term is guaranteed to win. Because of this it doesn’t make sense for the house to cheat and risk getting caught, it will win anyway.) there is no reason to think that the majority of the industry engages in criminal activity. This is a massive generalization.

        • PoliticalAgitator@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          I don’t know much about the gambling industry

          You can stop there. You don’t know much about the gambling industry, defending them was just an opportunity to tell us your opinions on “some people”, none of whom are actually here.

          • qwerty
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            2 months ago

            Yes, my comment wasn’t about online casinos but about the people who think they have a right to tell others how to live their lives. I’m not defending the gambling industry, I think gambling is stupid. I’m defending the right of the people to make their own decisions.

            My “defense of the gambling industry” was just me pointing out that as long as something isn’t inherently nonconsensual and the terms and conditions are clear there is no reason to forbid other people from doing it just because you disagree with it.

            • PoliticalAgitator@lemmy.world
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              2 months ago

              Nobody in this thread has forbidden anyone from doing anything. If you want a soapbox for your irrelevant opinions, start a blog.

            • CileTheSane@lemmy.ca
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              2 months ago

              Yes, my comment wasn’t about online casinos but about the people who think they have a right to tell others how to live their lives.

              Who’s “they the people”? I don’t know much about the gambling industry the internet but if it’s anything like any other industry place then it’s not a centralized monolith but many independent business people.

    • Knock_Knock_Lemmy_In@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Why are online casinos bad?

      How can players be sure they are honest?

      I must protect them from themselves.

      People should be protected from scammers with fake (always lose) casinos.

      • sudneo@lemm.ee
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        2 months ago

        How can players be sure they are honest?

        At the bottom of each gambling sites usually there are the banners for the license(s) the company holds. Complying with licenses (e.g., Maltese) ensures that the due paperwork (i.e., proving that Casino games are functioning according to their certification) is taken care of. So yes, national gambling authorities usually are the ones who protect people from scammers.

        • Knock_Knock_Lemmy_In@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          “functioning according to their certification” doesn’t prove to me that they aren’t shaving the odds or injecting sneaky code into the process. I have to trust in the technical ability of the regulators.

          Also, I could write “regulated by the Maltese” on the bottom of any website, it doesn’t make it true.

          • sudneo@lemm.ee
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            2 months ago

            They can’t add sneaky code to the process (without getting caught). For sensitive game code every single change needs to be tracked and reviewed by the authority. You get audited at least once a year, and then all the changes are reviewed. Authorities outsource the job for the technical reviews to specialized companies.

            Also, what’s the point? The games already provide a margin to the host, why risking to go out of business for such an irrelevant gain (a few more %)? Add to this that usually casino games writers do just that, write games and sell those to N casinos. So the incentive for the casino games writers are even smaller.

            Finally, yes you can write “license X”, but you can cross-check that information from the regulator itself, you don’t need to trust just the line on the site. The point is you as a customer can choose a trustworthy site, ideally one who is licensed in countries where regulations are quite tight (in Europe I would say Denmark), before putting your money somewhere.

            At some point you need to trust “someone”, that’s how the whole world works. The gambling authorities are no different than the authorities that enforce the safety certifications for electrict equipment, or cars, or whatever.

            If your concern is that you would lose money on casino games because the site rigged it, it’s a relatively silly concern. You will lose because the casino games are designed to make you lose in the long term, on average.

            • Knock_Knock_Lemmy_In@lemmy.world
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              2 months ago

              They can’t add sneaky code to the process (without getting caught).

              That means that people have to check

              For sensitive game code every single change needs to be tracked and reviewed by the authority. You get audited at least once a year, and then all the changes are reviewed. Authorities outsource the job for the technical reviews to specialized companies.

              Or just ignore that and publish whatever you like.

              why risking to go out of business for such an irrelevant gain

              Why spend money to meet regulations?

              Finally, yes you can write “license X”, but you can cross-check that information from the regulator itself, you don’t need to trust just the line on the site.

              How many users actually do this? A very low percentage.

              point is you as a customer can choose a trustworthy site,

              The point is that many don’t.

              If your concern is that you would lose money on casino games because the site rigged it, it’s a relatively silly concern.

              Not really. It’s one of the reasons why online casinos can be bad.

              The question was what is “wrong with online casinos”. So I gave an example. Others include money laundering, exploitation of addiction, exploitation of stupidity, waste of resources, tax evasion etc .

              • sudneo@lemm.ee
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                2 months ago

                Have you ever made a single transaction online paying with your credit or debit card? How do you know the site didn’t steal or misuse your information?

                The answer is that storing, transmitting or processing card data requires you to be PCI-DSS compliant, which is a very strict standard. If you get caught violating that you are out of business and fined in the abyss, which is a much bigger risk than stealing john doe’s pennies.

                Sorry but from what you are saying it seems you simply don’t understand how compliance works.

                That means that people have to check

                And that is why you have at least annual audits (for each license, plus AML, plus other stuff), and why you need to present the whole chain of changes that happened to sensitive code.

                Why spend money to meet regulations?

                Because if you get caught not doing that you lose access to whole markets at once and get fined. There is no economic incentive as complying doesn’t cost nearly as much. Specifically, I told you that casino game makers are generally not casinos, they are software houses. So they can’t care less about rigging the games, their revenue comes from companies paying for using their games. Casinos also don’t care of rigging games because games are designed to leave them a certain margin anyway, so why doing it?

                The point is that many don’t.

                And that’s why national regulations are generally a safe umbrella. If you see a website (through advertisements) that means that website is allowed locally and already met the national regulations.

                If you are in a non regulated country then you will need to do a tiny bit of research. You are putting money on a site, after all (you should do the same for everything you do online).

                The question was what is “wrong with online casinos”. So I gave an example. Others include money laundering, exploitation of addiction, exploitation of stupidity, waste of resources, tax evasion etc

                Yes, you gave examples based on your own speculations. It’s clear you have no idea how the industry works. Money laundering is something international law covers and is extremely tightly controlled, tax evasion is also completely insane for online businesses, because every transaction has a trail and there are tight regulations about what you need to report for every country where you operate. Exploitation of stupidity, sure. Some also exploit addiction, regulations exist for that too, and for some businesses addicts are terrible customers.

                Question: what exactly is your experience with the gambling business?

                Because to me it seems you are making stuff up or basing your statements on movies about gambling and oeganised crime, while the reality is much simpler: companies get money simply by having active users on their sites. Quantity is the name of the game.

                • Knock_Knock_Lemmy_In@lemmy.world
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                  2 months ago

                  How do you know the site didn’t steal or misuse your information?

                  Exactly. Scam websites can be casinos or shops or anything.

                  You are vehemently defending the “legitimate” casino industry whereas I am saying it’s easy to create scam casinos.

                  Yes, you gave examples based on your own speculations. It’s clear you have no idea how the industry works.

                  I know well how it works.

                  Money laundering is something international law covers and is extremely tightly controlled, tax evasion is also completely insane for online businesses, because every transaction has a trail and there are tight regulations about what you need to report for every country where you operate.

                  Casinos, on and offline, are excellent ways to launder. The amount of regulations trying to mitigate this risk proves my point.

                  Exploitation of stupidity, sure.

                  Glad we agree here.

                  Some also exploit addiction, regulations exist for that too, and for some businesses addicts are terrible customers.

                  Not for casinos. Gambling addiction is a casino’s main business. Why are there no windows in Vegas?

                  Question: what exactly is your experience with the gambling business?

                  Betfair, betfred, bet356, Ladbrokes etc.

                  Exchanges for sports and real life events I have little problem with.

                  I only have probems with sites that scam people with flashing lights and random number generators.

                  Quantity is the name of the game.

                  Yes. Online you can scam many more people with fake roulette tables.

                  • sudneo@lemm.ee
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                    2 months ago

                    Exactly. Scam websites can be casinos or shops or anything.

                    Ok, you understand that this is a completely different set of businesses compared to established casino business, right?

                    Talking about scam website to infer things about the “real” counterparts doesn’t make much sense. Yes, there is scam-everything. Doesn’t mean “shops are scam”, because there are shops which scam people. So when I talk about online casinos, I refer to the legitimate businesses that are gambling businesses, not scam organizations that happen to use gambling as their cover.

                    In any case, licenses are a very effective way to protect yourself from scammers.

                    Casinos, on and offline, are excellent ways to launder. The amount of regulations trying to mitigate this risk proves my point.

                    As all systems that allow to move money, they are excellent vectors, but doesn’t mean they are excellent ways to launder money. Regulations prevent money laundering (or strongly mitigating), which makes them less and less viable for laundering. I specifically talk about online casinos, since cash is not an option.

                    Not for casinos. Gambling addiction is a casino’s main business. Why are there no windows in Vegas?

                    Online and physical casinos are different and they comply with different regulations. In online casinos for example it might be mandatory to limit session duration, show popups every X minutes to inform about losses and duration of the session etc., depending on licenses. These are just responsible gaming measures enforced by licenses (in this case the Maltese, which is a very common one), which do not apply to physical casinos.

                    Yes. Online you can scam many more people with fake roulette tables.

                    So, this is the crux of the problem: your definition of scamming seems to be variable. There are only two options:

                    • The casino game works according to specifics
                    • The casino game is rigged, meaning it provides better odds to the host compared to its specifics

                    Both of them provide revenue for the host, with the second being marginally higher (you can’t have 80% margin, people won’t play). The second though has the problem that it won’t pass certification, so the only way to serve it is on unlicensed sites. Being unlicensed makes it impossible to access whole markets. So, why companies should go for the second and not the first, when even the first is providing money and a bigger pool of players?

                    To support your claim, maybe you can list a bunch of articles about casinos getting caught with rigged games that were licensed? I did a quick search and nothing popped up immediately (although they might exist, and it’s a good thing they got caught, which shows controls work).

                    Betfair, betfred, bet356, Ladbrokes etc.

                    As a user? Because that doesn’t tell much. Anyway, bet365 has a casino, do you trust it?

      • qwerty
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        2 months ago

        There are ways to cryptographically verify bet integrity, but that’s not important. The point I was trying to make is that people should have the right to make their own decisions, even if you disagree with them, even if they’re objectively wrong.

        • Knock_Knock_Lemmy_In@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          If you are objecting about one person’s morals being forced on another then I totally agree.

          Your delivery of that argument needs work because it comes across as wanting to defend scammers.

              • ji17br@lemmy.ml
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                2 months ago

                Yes. He’s asking a question? Why is an online casino bad?

                If the casino follows all rules and regulations, then that is not bad.

                If talking about sites that steal your money and don’t pay out when you “win”, then yes, that is bad, and a scam. But that’s not an online casino…that’s a scam. And also incredibly rare.

                An online casino can make a shit ton of money by just following the rules. Why would they need to break the rules?

    • Makhno@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      “They’re too stupid to make their own decisions, I know better what’s best for them, I must protect them from themselves”.

      I’ve never been given a reason to not think most people are morons

          • bobburger@fedia.io
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            2 months ago

            That’s 100% true. That’s why I’d like the help from experts to help me avoid being scammed, help me avoid drinking and eating poisoned food, or having to breath unhealthy air.

            I don’t always know the full repercussions from the decisions I make so I really appreciate having some expert help. This is especially true of decisions shitty people try to coerce me into making when I’m desperate or emotionally vulnerable.

      • qwerty
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        2 months ago

        I presume you don’t consider yourself to be a part of the aforementioned majority? Do you believe it makes you superior? Do you believe you know better what’s best for them? Do you believe you must protect them from themselves, even at the cost of their self-determination?

        • zea@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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          2 months ago

          I’m not the person you’re replying to, but I am stupid enough to occasionally get close to falling for a scam. Rather than test my luck, I’d rather they didn’t exist.

          • ji17br@lemmy.ml
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            2 months ago

            Allowing someone to play a game in which the rules and odds are clear and up front, is not a scam. Full stop.

    • stanleytweedle@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Is meth bad? Would a company that specifically targets meth sales to the most likely drug using demographics be bad? Would a company that sold meth in shiny, futuristic containers that said “Lucky Dreams!” be bad?