|For most people playing games would be a hobby or to unwind but for Dennis Fong, 26, who runs Ultimate Arena, in Menlo Park it’s a full-time job. |
At UA which is his third gaming venture company he gets paid to game. Launched in March 2003, UA’s website lets gamers play shooting and other games for wagered money. Toying on the idea that he always had a time crunch to accept the challenges for gaming duels the new venture was started.
With funding from Redwood City based venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson Last December, UA believes it’s more of an infrastructure company than a company, which provides online games. The company isn’t alone in the arena.
Web sites like Worldwinner.com and Electronic Arts' Club Pogo offer puzzle or parlour games for money. The Netherlands Antilles based YouPlayGames.com which supplies the back-end technology to online casinos is in a duel with UA. They are based on the revenue model where they share with game publishers a percentage of revenue in exchange for the right to offer the games.
With an audience of over 20,000 gamers, their website lets gamers sign up to play their favourite games and wager small amounts to play a match against a single challenger or group of opponents. With no upper limit on player’s winnings, the maximum bet for a single game is $20, the company takes a commission for each bet won or placed. Since money is involved in these games all players must have an age verification and have access to credit cards or be PayPal users.
Like online casinos which are subject to legal restrictions, websites of YouPlayGames and UA are technically not illegal in 46 US states since they are games of skill (like shooting games) for money is not considered illegal unlike luck and chance games like say roulette.