|Eastern European online gamblers are flocking to sites such as gameaccount.com to fatten their wallets by playing ‘skill games’ such as backgammon and gin rummy.|
The company is the UK and Ireland's largest skill gaming site, and has seen a recent upsurge in players from Eastern bloc countries such as Latvia, Turkey, Serbia, Romania and Russia who are looking to capitalise on the multiplayer game challenges offered by comparatively affluent Europeans.
'Skill games' differ from the popular casino, sports and bingo sites in that a person's skill and mental strength, rather than chance, is a key factor in a player’s winning chances.
Sergejs D. is a 44-year-old gin rummy player from Riga, Latvia who has honed the classic card game to win upwards of €26,000 (£17,000) since mid-2004, in a country where the average wage is around £3,500 per year.
“I came across non-gambling sites a while back, deposited €15 and after some trial and error, started beating more and more opponents. I read up on strategies and would even memorise and practise gin rummy hands when I wasn't online. It's now become my full-time profession.”