Are companies that let people play games for free creating a potential online gaming market?
Companies that let people play free games online with the chance of million dollars are creating potential compulsive gamblers according to new figures.
During December 2000, sweepstakes sites such as Grab.com and Iwon.com rated 17th and 26th which is fairly high considering that sites used more often includes multi-billion dollar Internet companies like AOL and Yahoo.
According to Kevin O’Neill, deputy director at the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, the basic definition of gambling is “risking something of value to gain something of value when the outcome is unknown." Additionally, although technically playing the games is free of charge, to activate the play for fun accounts, you must give away personal details and this is how companies can directly market products to clients.
O'Neill says the link between the free gaming sites and the pay gambling sites is precisely the issue. "Starting off with free sites, that's about getting a market, about getting people hooked," he said. "But there's no difference to me. Gambling is gambling. Everyone will choose their poison, their own recreation."