10 influential people in the crypto game right now

Nick Szabo – Cryptographer and Bit Gold mystery man

The inventor of the smart contract concept. Heavily involved in the development of ‘bit gold’, Bitcoin’s precursor, moving in the same circles as Gavin Andresen. The cryptographer and computer scientist known the world over for his involvement in all kinds of projects, with some theorising he was involved in the creation of Bitcoin itself. There is no denying that Szabo is a heavily influential man in crypto now, and has been since the beginning. While the hunt for the true Satoshi Nakamoto rages to this day, could Szabo be the key to it all? His involvement across the market and his legendary status make him a worthy player in this list of heavy hitters.

Brian Armstrong – CEO of Coinbase, High Profile crypto star

The cofounder and CEO of one of the cryptoexchange giants, Armstrong’s work with Coinbase has cemented him as a key player in the game and a cryptocurrency monster. Speaking at conferences and panels worldwide and even being featured on The 2014 film ‘The Rise of Bitcoin’, Armstrong’s career in the industry is prolific and successful. His double major in Computer Sciences and Economics jumpstarted his career in tech startup, becoming a leading advocate for Bitcoin and the adoption of crypto, he is a real rockstar of the industry, and not knowing of his accomplished past and bright future is frankly criminal.

The Winklevoss Twins – The first Bitcoin billionaires

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss , industry powerhouses and bright sparks in crypto’s future, for their fame for Tyler becoming the world’s first Bitcoin billionaire, purchasing 1% of all supply after a settlement with Facebook. Since then he has become the Principal of Winklevoss and the CEO of Gemini, a digital asset exchange he co-founded with his twin. The Gemini dollar was then created, a stablecoin created to facilitate liquidity for businesses and individuals reliant on crypto. Their movie star aesthetic and public image as a twin unit has made them instantly recognisable even outside the crypto realms. Their recent acquisition of a patent on settling Exchange-Traded Products (ETP’s) with digital currencies in 2018 has kept them as big news and so we can look forward to them making further waves in cryptocurrency’s near future.

Vitalik Buterin – Ethereum giant

The creator of the Ethereum network, Vitalik catapulted Szabo’s smart contract work into a stable platform and is now one of the most vocal and publicly visible advocates for blockchain and decentralisation. He was additionally a cofounder of Bitcoin Magazine, Vitalik’s work with one of the world’s most prolific and highest ranking cryptocurrencies has cemented him as one of the heavyweights and his vocal media presence in the fight for crypto world stage will ensure he maintains his status for years to come.

Roger Ver – Bitcoin Jesus

The public face of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Roger Ver has established himself as a mainstay of blockchain conferences and panels. His investment in crypto startups and running the bitcoin.com site are merely the surface level of his involvement. The famous ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ was one of the first to hop on the bitcoin investment and startup train and is now heavily involved with Bitcoin Cash, which tries to solve the performance issues of Bitcoin Core and be used as cash. His enthusiasm for philosophy clearly spills over into his fanatic preaching of Bitcoin adoption, and you can see him all over the internet supporting blockchain and crypto technology avidly.

Barry Silbert – CoinDesk and DCG mogul

Grayscale Investments, Genesis Capital, CoinDesk, the Digital Currency Group. It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of startups Silbert doesn’t own nowadays. This is just the tip of the iceberg of crypto startups he has shares in. An investment addict and proponent of Ethereum Classic, Silbert has appeared all over publishing in major US newspapers ranging the NY Times to the Wall Street Journal. Say what you will about him spreading himself thinly, but Silbert has the wealth, image, and influence to secure him as a heavy hitter in the industry for years to come, purely on the weight of how he seems to be everywhere.

Charlie Lee – Litecoin

Many of you may know Charlie as the creator of Litecoin, the ‘digital silver’ to match Bitcoin’s digital gold. You may know him for his… inspired twitter handle @SatoshiLite. Regardless, whether we’re talking about Lee’s highly vocal Twitter about crypto news, his work with the Litecoin Foundation or even his past as Director of Engineering for Coinbase, Lee’s media presence and background make him a mainstay for cryptocurrency’s future. Litecoin continues to rise in popularity and is one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world currently in terms of market cap.

Gavin Andresen – Bitcoin pioneer

Certainly one of the most elusive and quiet characters to have appeared so far, what Andresen lacks in media presence he more than makes up for in Clout. He’s been mentioned by Nakamoto as the main developer for Bitcoin and his involvement with the Bitcoin Foundation both in the past and at present has secured him a place in the community for years to come. Perhaps next time Gavin rears his head, having stayed dormant and quiet in recent years, it will be at the head of the next big revolution in crypto’s development. Keep posted on his activity, who knows what his next big appearance may bring. At present he stays quiet developing Bitcoin Core and working with the Foundation.

Andreas M Antonopoulos – Public Face of Crypto

If you’ve ever been interested in crypto or remotely done some general internet research on the matter, you have more than likely come across Andreas. He is one of the loudest voices in the crypto-scape advocating adoption and is a highly respected member of the blockchain community. Speaking at global conferences and authoring massively successful guides such as ‘The Internet of Money’ and ‘Mastering Bitcoin’, Andreas is prolific, driven and charismatic. He’s hard to miss, and much of the general public’s knowledge and advocacy for crypto is due to players like him. Furthermore, he has a role consulting for some startups and offers testimony from his experience as an expert in cryptocurrency use and security.

Satoshi Nakamoto – The Legend

The last, the most legendary, and the most mysterious name on our list. Nakamoto’s identity, past and personality are shrouded in hearsay, rumour and misdirection as many lay claim to either knowing him, knowing his identity, or being him. The author of the original Bitcoin white paper, the first blockchain database, and the grandmaster of the entire crypto industry, Nakamoto’s identity being discovered could put anything from massive fame to a massive target on his shoulders. There are many theories as to who Nakamoto is, or even who Satoshi Nakamoto are. He purports to be a 37 year old Japanese man but linguistic inconsistencies make this unlikely. Hal Finney, one Dorian Nakamoto or in fact Nick Szabo are theorised to be the true Satoshi, but who knows. Maybe he is all of the above? The one thing we can be certain of is that Satoshi is big news and a crypto legend, and his influence is still continuously felt even now.

Climbing the Rigging: The 10 most infamous fixes and scandals in sports betting

All of us avid sportsbetters have made our bets on a match and then cried foul or claimed a fix when our best laid plans go to pot when it hits the fan. But before you start claiming that the Patriots are cheating again, let’s examine some of the blackest, most bitter and most blatant fixes in the history of sportsbetting.

1. 2008 Davydenko Scandal (Russian Tennis)

From 2008-2016 Nikolay Davydenko, professional Russian tennis player, was embroiled in allegations that he had fixed a match against Martin Vassallo Arguello in 2007 in Poland. Initially in 2008 the allegation were cleared but later investigations in 2016 discovered several millions of dollars being bet on the match from Russian accounts. Investigators from both Buzzfeed and the BBC found over 80 incidents of SMS communication between Davydenko and someone who was suspected to be the head of an Italian sports betting syndicate. At that point, Davydenko had long since retired and the case had been shelved.

2. 1919 Black Sox Scandal (American Baseball)

Arguably the most famous incident on this list was the infamous MLB match fixing incident where eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of wilfully losing to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1919 World Series. They were bribed by Arnold Rothstein, a racketeer, businessman, gambler, and the kingpin of New York City’s Jewish Mob. The fallout of the affair was so great that Judge Landis was appointed Commissioner of Baseball and not only banned all eight men from professional baseball, but from any post-career honours such as induction into the Hall of Fame, despite acquittals in a 1921 public trial. The White Sox lost its best players permanently and would never win another American championship until 1959 after 40 years, nor another World Series until 2005. This losing streak is said to be the Curse of the Black Sox, with the White Sox’s purity having been soiled. The 1919 World Series fix and its orchestrator Rothstein are heavily referenced in pop culture ranging from The Great Gatsby and The Godfather Part II to an account of the whole affair, Eight Men Out.

3. 2000 Hansie Cronje Scandal

South African cricketer Hansie Cronje was one of the biggest cricket stars in South Africa and a fan favourite, but it was revealed in 2000 that he was heavily involved in the infamous fixing of matches when the South African cricket team visited India. Tapes of Cronje communicating with a representative of the betting syndicate fixing the match were released by Delhi police, which also implicated other players. Cronje continued to deny everything but some reports indicate that he confessed everything in the eventual trial which suspended him from the sport for life. His death in a plane crash in 2002 is subject of many conspiracy theories due to how many details about the crash remain unreleased and hidden. Several other implicated players in the scandal were also suspended for life.

4. 1982 West Germany vs Austria Fix

The 1982 World Cup in Spain saw a huge fixing scandal. West Germany vs Austria was the final match of the group stage to determine who would advance to the next stage. West Germany lost against Algeria and needed to win against Austria to advance, meanwhile Algeria had won their game against Chile. If Germany won against Austria 1-0, they knew that Algeria would be knocked out of the competition and Germany and Austria would advance from the group stages. As a result, West Germany scored their first goal very quickly and play slowed down until it was almost as if both teams had stopped playing, as they both knew that they would advance no matter what. Despite official protest by the Algerian Football Association, no charges were levied against either team despite the match clearly being fixes to eliminate them.

5. 1946 Bears/Giants NFL Fix

There was a widely recorded attempt made to fix the 1946 NFL Championship Game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants in favour of the Bears. Giants quarterback Frank Filchock and fullback Merle Hapes were suspended indefinitely from American Football in American leagues for consorting with gamblers, on account of being bribed by Alvin J. Paris to deliberately lose the game and secure the win for the Bears. The trial held up even after appeal in 1948. The game ended 24-14 in favour of the Bears.

6. 2013 Nigerian Football league fix

One of the most blatant examples of rigged matches in history. Two teams in the Nigerian Football League fought for promotion to a higher division, Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine. Plateau United needed to boost goal difference to secure the promotion and in a match with Akurba FC they scored 72 goals to nil in the second half. There was no doubt as to the league’s fixed nature at this point. Police Machine participated in a similar game, scoring 61 goals in the 2nd half against Babayaro FC in an attempt to boost their own goal difference. With these two games clearly being fixed, the NFF suspended all four teams and all officials involved in the two matches. Given the absurd scores in these matches, I doubt anybody would have questioned the validity of these measures.

7. 2010 Pakistani National Cricket Team Fix

More recently than many incidents on this list, in 2010 the Pakistani National Cricket Team were revealed to have been involved in fixing matches. Three players, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were all exposed to have been communicating with the betting syndicate and bookmaking agent Mazhar Majeed, in an attempt to fix the Test Cricket Match between Pakistan and England in 2010. All three players were banned for life and given jail sentences.

8. 2008 Piquet/Alonso Scandal

An event that became one of the biggest fixing scandals in the history of Formula One, which dealt critical damage to Renault’s F1 team and caused a re-evaluation of team ordering throughout the sport. Nelson Piquet Jr., a Renault F1 driver, revealed in 2009 that in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix he was ordered by the team’s officials to crash his car intentionally to give Alonso an advantage in the race, who was competing for first place. Piquet Jr. admitted to crashing the car intentionally and Renault levied a lawsuit against him and his family. The ruling was in Piquet Jr’s favour as the fix was obvious. Renault were banned from F1 for two years and many officials received lifetime bans, although many were later repealed. It caused a massive drop in Renault’s funding, sponsorship and respect in the sport.

9. 1913 Arthur Pelkey Scandal

A famous scandal in 1913, reigning World White Heavyweight Champion boxer Arthur Pelkey revealed that he wilfully participated in a fixed match in March 1913 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada against Luther McCarty, which ended with McCarty’s death in the ring. Pelkey claimed that the fix was directed by his manager Tommy Burns, and that while the coroner investigated McCarty’s in ring death, Burns forced Pelkey to sign over 50% of his earnings while he was in police custody. The death was ruled unrelated to the match and Pelkey was acquitted of any suspicion, continuing his career with Burns as his manager but this incident remains one of the earliest recordings of a match fixing in boxing, and indeed in sportsbetting in general.

10. 1964 Great British Football Betting Scandal

The 1964 Great British Football Betting Scandal was one of the greatest scandals in the sport’s history, ending with ten professional players being jailed for match fixing. It involved a wide ranging match fixing syndicate established by former Scottish international youth football player Jimmy Gauld, who had also played for Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle, St Johnstone and Mansfield Town. Numerous incidents followed, involving many players in what became a highly documented scandal. Gauld fixed matches between Lincoln City vs Brentford FC, Oldham Atheltic vs York City, Hartlepools United vs Exeter City and Bradford Park Avenue vs Bristol Rovers. The media caught on and Gauld sold his story to the Sunday People newspaper. The whole affair concluded in the prosecution of 33 players and the imprisonment of Gauld for four years. This scandal was so high profile it was dramatized in the BBC’s 1997 film The Fix.

Reinventing the Wheel- Why slots are the best and most popular game

There is no denying that the iconic image of a casino normally contains three games: poker; roulette; and slots. Slots are so widespread because they earn their keep consistently. They operate on such a simple concept that no slot can become outdated or obsolete, so many slots persist through decades of use both online and in a physical casino. The attraction of slots lies mainly in their high jackpot appeal and earning potential, and in their graphical appeal, often tying in to films or games. And yet realistically their popularity on paper, statistically, doesn’t make a lot of sense. The house edge in slots are generally higher ranging from a 10% house edge to anything as low as 5% in some online slots, and yet somehow slots manage to accrue millions of players every day. American casinos have slots as their most popular games and some of the greatest hits online are slots. So the question is, why exactly is this the case, and why are so many people hopping onto slots as their staple and stable fix?

Sheer choice

It doesn’t matter what casino you go to. There is bound to be an immense, borderline terrifying selection of slots to pick from. Much like any other arcade game, each slot is unique and has its own gameplay, its own bonus rounds, its own advanced mechanics for you to learn and get used to. Even if you get bored of one slot there is always another refreshing slot to reinvigorate your gambling spirit. Even more so, slot developers are always creative in developing pre-existing games and coming up with new ones. Whether the new slots are more or less volatile, with huge life changing jackpots or a steady tide of small wins, there is always a new slot for you.

Financial Accessibility

Another key reason is in its financial accessibility as a game. In a physical offline casino, even cheap seats at cheap tables often only accept a minimum bet of as high as $5. Some might start at $10 and hike it up to even a $25 starting price or even more. But in the case of slots, you’ll find that the vast majority accept a low, low price of 1 cent as its minimum entry. You can get much more mileage out of a $30 run on a slot machine than you would on a table that would take all your money in just a few games.

The other advantage when dealing with online slots is there isn’t the pressure of space in a physical casino, and the games move faster and faster due to their digital nature. The development of a slots run is far quicker both physically and online than a game of blackjack for example, with its various hands, players and stages of play.

Bet/Payout ratio

No matter how high you bet at a blackjack table or a roulette table, even with incredible luck, the payout is within a reasonable degree. A big winner at poker could net you a 20x payout, maybe a 15x payout with roulette. Not slots. Slots have the same massive winning potential as a lottery. Bets ranging in the cents have won thousands of dollars in physical casinos or even millions online. Dollar slots in physical casinos have netted multi-million life-changing jackpots.

Realistically you will never get a jackpot that high as an average player. But it isn’t unheard of. Moreover, there are plenty of sites and slots that give four figure payouts every day. It really is a question of whether you have the willpower to power through the losses and chase that win, and that thrill is something only slots can really provide in a casino environment.

No need for experience

Perhaps the biggest advantage of slots, however, is that it is entirely luck based with no need for skill or proficiency. It takes little to no learning to be able to play slots, you merely crank the handle and pray. Some slots contain advanced mechanics, sure. But generally, these advanced mechanics are explained by the machine, whether physical or online. They are a gateway drug of sorts for the casino, and they are renowned for their addictiveness for good reason. If you are entering a casino with no experience and want to get into the game, the slots are a great place to start. Moreover, they provide a refreshing change for seasoned gamblers looking to go back to basics.

There is no need for time or practice to get good at slots and understanding the odds. The only way of finding out is pulling that lever. Slots are so simple that simple slot machines are integrated in video games marketed towards children. As a result it really proves that there is no barrier to anybody playing, and is perhaps the reason why they have always been so popular at seaside arcades in the UK.

A solo experience

Whether you choose to view this as an advantage or disadvantage is up to you, but slots more often than not are played entirely alone with the machine. There is nothing to stop you and a friend taking up adjacent machines, or making friends with a stranger playing at the reels, but the games are isolated. You can have as much or as little social activity in slot playing as you’d like, especially with the introduction of new community slot games.

However, needless to say, there can be no backlash at you for winning a game or messing up another’s odds if you’re playing by yourself. Poker games and casino debacles are infamous for causing violence in films and underworld history, so the last thing you want is to irritate the wrong guy and end up facing retribution outside in the parking lot or a tirade of verbal abuse online. Of course, that is not to say poker both online and physical, and community based casino games in general, are all dangerous and not worth playing. But if you’d like to keep your gambling to yourself and only have yourself and the machine to worry about as variables, slots are the game for you.

Overall, slots pay well, keep well and keep their players hungry. They have the potential for huge streaks of wins and huge streaks of losses, and the potential for a massive win every so often with often microscopic betting price. They appeal to the high roller and the small-time penny plinker. So the question is less why are slots most popular, and more why aren’t you playing slots yourself?

Online vs Abroad – Playing casino games

This wide wonderful world houses hundreds of beautiful casinos. From the dazzling neon of Vegas and all of the mystery and high rolling excitement housed in those halls to the beautiful neoclassical gaming paradises of French Monaco, no doubt anybody who has ever scratched that gambling itch or seen any blockbusters wants to throw their bet in at one of these monumental repositories of gambling goodness. However, with these pillars of high-rolling gratification at the top, it is undeniable that there are also a lot of naff, gaudy casinos that do little else but swindle holidaymakers or slowly breathe their last as they shuffle along gasping for air under the weight of the magical rise of online gaming. So the question remains, where do I gamble, and why?

For the thrill of the chase

Arguably, you don’t need a physical casino, you don’t need the suits and ties, crisp green mats and click-clack of the ball in the roulette wheel, if what really gives you joy from gaming is the excitement of the gambling, and the excitement of the risk. The age of the internet, of the app, both web and mobile, means that if you want that rush you needn’t leave your house. Hell, you needn’t leave your bed half the time. The beauty of a virtual environment means that the excitement of the RNG element of the casino can be applied to any sort of game. Traditional online casino games like blackjack, slots, roulette, poker, solitaire, craps and all sorts can be quite easily simulated online and there are a plethora of these sort of sites readily available. However, in the age of video games and the rise in graphics quality, all sorts of new games blending online casino gambling with newer more visually pleasing elements has resulted in all sorts of games and apps where real money is bet on RNG, such as in gachapon style digital trading card games, with massive payouts on selling accounts with certain cards in them, or single cards alone depending on the game. Now more than ever, gaming online can not only be rewarding for excitement, but can be visually rewarding too and offer a completely different tactile sensation. Let the new frontier begin. 

For the spectacle

If you want to play casino games for the aesthetic, for the crisp green tables, the smell of solid plastic and the suits and champagne, there is no doubt that the physical casino is for you. Physical casinos have their own culture, their codes and their fashions, and it is quite the experience to be part of. Nothing can quite beat throwing craps in Nevada or the iconic image of a poker table in Macau surrounded by people who, at least in your head, may well be stonkingly wealthy heiresses, mob bosses and undercover celebrities. Whether you wish to shatter that beautiful image and accept the reality that they are probably casino tourists such as yourself, or want to live in the illusion, it is nonetheless clear that you want to hit the big leagues and go to Vegas or such like. Perhaps it is worth stowing away a few of those deposits you were about to throw into some online game and buy yourself a trip to Vegas.

So what are the advantages of online?

Well for starters, it is a hell of a lot easier to gamble online.  A trip to a casino, especially a high quality one abroad, could take hours, days, weeks, even months of planning flights, accommodation, cars, hotels. Meanwhile online gambling can take place anywhere, anytime, expense free, leaving you more money to throw at the slots rather than down the drain. There is no doubt, however, that the overall experience of paying to visit a real casino with all the trappings and culture it entails, is hardly throwing money ‘down the drain’. It is hard to beat the tactile sensation of rolling chips in your hand, the tension of players staring each other down, and the sounds of dice hitting a mat.

Online games operate almost identically to the games being played physically. They are rarely any alteration in rules or method of play, the core tenets of the games are preserved. If you worry about the random element of the physics of dice or roulette, then don’t be, because digital RNG replicates the random element of real-world physics’ effect on a roulette ball or six-sided die perfectly fine. The overall experience might be different, but the games are no less a game digitally than they are physically.

You could however make the case for how digital gaming hinders games like poker, where player interactions are highly necessary to gauge decisions and odds. This is undeniable, and even with the use of webcams, high quality cameras and similar equipment, it is easy for a player to conceal their cues, their tics and their tells when there is a camera on them rather than a pair of physical eyes. The digital realm does provide a barrier to this kind of gameplay, and it is difficult to replicate a real poker environment in the datascape, at least until VR technology really hits the pinnacle we anticipate. In this respect you could treat it as an advantage for the less confident and defensive poker player, having their tells easily concealed, but for other more aggressive players it certainly does not help.

But what about my odds?

Many players raise the complaint and misconception that in the online casino, the odds are stacked against the player greater than in a house due to the digital element, and that players are at the game’s mercy. However, online casino games’ RTP (Return to Player) are fixed, in fact the result is that the games are weighted towards the player since there is no house edge. An RTP 95% game online will give that 95% return to all players, across the site, without argument. The use of physical RNG devices like dice and roulette, and cards, in the physical casino means that all results are left purely to chance and so payouts are less consistent than online gaming, in fact.


The result of all this is that gaming has its drawbacks no matter where you gamble. A casino trip is expensive, but a digital casino is cheap. A casino trip is difficult, but a digital casino is easy. A casino trip has all the jazz and pizazz of Hollywood whereas playing blackjack with some strangers on your phone, in bed, drinking coffee doesn’t quite capture the magic of it. But maybe it captures just enough of it for you to be satisfied.

A Guide to Volatility and RNG for the uninitiated

RNG is probably a word you have heard many a time if you have been involved in ANY sort of gaming, be it gambling, sportsbetting, casino games, or card games, all the way through to less financially motivated games like tabletop RPGs and video games. Volatility, on the other hand, is a tad more specific to the tables, and this article will help break down the two terms and debunk any misconceptions you may have had up to this point.


Random Number Generator is a machine, either software based or a physical device, designed to generate a number or a sequence of numbers or symbols devoid of any pattern. This system is what basically every system of luck you have played is based on. Magic 8 Balls, dice from the traditional hexahedron up to the 20 and 100 sided dice of D&D, games on your phone, FIFA Ultimate team packs, lootboxes, trading card booster packs and damage numbers in games ALL rely on RNG for their creation or function. Anybody asking for ‘good RNG’ is merely asking for good luck.

In the Casino

The role of RNG in a casino is what all the games you play are based on, split between physical devices and digital systems. Playing dice-based games uses the dice-based source of RNG. A die is a physical RNG device, yielding a random result between 1-6, relying on the physics of the dice being thrown to yield the random result. A thoroughly shuffled deck of cards is a physical RNG device yielding a result between 1-52 (game-setup dependent of course) using the shuffling as the source of the random element. A roulette wheel yields a result of both colour and numerical variables again using physics as the random decider. Slot machines, digital games and all gaming machines will use a digital RNG system. 

Is this a good thing?

As much as the idea of RNG, and your entire gaming life revolving around the decisions of random elements, that is entirely what casino gambling and gaming revolves around. Indeed, the whole concept of all casino games would be destroyed if the random element was removed, and the use of RNG devices is precisely what keeps the games fair and free from being tampered with. RNG is great for you because it means the dealer can’t swing the game, and the machine is not messing with you. You will never enter a casino with weighted dice or packs of cards or roulettes, which is downright illegal under gambling commission legislation in many countries. The only time you will ever see RNG being a bad thing is in competitive games of skill. Losing to blind luck in a game of complete skill is heartbreaking, and part of the reason why eSports struggle to gain traction. The presence of RNG elements in online competitive games is something developers constantly battle against. However, you will never need to fear the term when “RNG” appears in a casino environment, because all it means is that your game is fair and neutrally generated.


Now that we have established what is involved in RNG, we can begin to understand volatility. Volatility, pure and simple, means the likelihood of winning the game. It is based on the game’s design and construction, the algorithms and RNG involved in the creation of the game and illustrates the probability of a player winning or losing and the frequency of victory they should anticipate. Highly volatile slots and machines will have dry periods in between wins that can be disheartening but will often have higher payouts. Slots and games of lower volatility subscribe more to the little-and-often philosophy, dealing out lower payouts more regularly. Volatility can further be analysed in terms of RTP%, Return to Player Percentage, and House Edge. RTP means how much of money spent on each play is returned to the player, meanwhile house edge means how much a game is weighted in the house’s favour. You will see RTPs as low as 85% or as high as 95%. The only issue here is it is difficult to determine a game’s volatility since it is rarely stated.

How does this help me?

The reason volatility begs explanation is due to its popularity as a buzzword for online forums, and a piece of gaming vocabulary bandied about everywhere that people discuss casino games, both online and physical, both in forums and in person. The point here is that if you read that a certain game is highly volatile by other people’s reckoning or low volatility, it does not mean one game is better than another. Given its use in the semantic field of explosives and chemistry, one could hear that a slot is highly volatile and instantly get spooked. However, this other use of the term is helpful. Think of it like this. If a slot is highly volatile, keep prodding and eventually you’ll get a massive explosion of a win. If a slot is low volatility, the wins will be less explosive, but they will take less prodding.

Getting a feel for the volatility of a game is something that comes with practice and experience. Even after a few months or regular gambling you soon get used to what machines and online games offer the bigger and less frequent payouts, and which games you yield a greater enjoyment from. At the end of the day, choosing between high and low volatility games when gambling is entirely a matter of choice. Oftentimes it depends if you play to win or play for the thrill of the chase. A low volatility game will give you more consistent payouts and gratification to scratch that winning itch, but if the excitement of huge jackpots and a long road to hit those winning numbers is what you are after at the tables, then the high volatility games are for you. Hopefully this guide helps you make a more informed decision on games as a result of this.

An Introduction to Safe Gambling and Web Lottery Scams

As much as gambling, especially online, is a hugely enjoyable and widely enjoyed hobby by many, with high stakes, high rewards, excitement aplenty and an unparalleled rush, it is undeniable that it can be dangerous. Gambling has become somewhat associated with addiction in the public eye. Unrestrained and wanton gambling is a real danger to people’s finances and health. In this age of contactless payments, seamless online transactions and credit cards, it is easier than ever to get lost in ‘just one more game’ when it is so easy to make that next game.

The point here is not just to gamble safely but to gamble intelligently. Part of gambling’s skill is in being safe and not taking more risks than you know you can handle. Gambling is a healthy and intelligent hobby provided you are careful. And below is some advice on how to stay safe gambling online, and the kinds of measures and services that are out there if you are struggling.

Lottery Scams

A further issue with gambling safely online is less with regard to your safety in using your finances yourself, but also in using your finances with unsafe sites and games.

Deposit Limits

Many gambling sites allow you to set a limit on the maximum you can deposit in your online accounts for use in web gambling and web lottery. For your own safety and self-control it is recommended that you do this, as it is easy for even the most mentally stable and controlled gambler to suddenly get lost in the game and forget how much they are depositing. These deposit limits often limit how much you can have at a time every 24 hours, weekly, biweekly or monthly. It is most certainly a good idea to use them. To this same end, many sites and also machines in gambling venues and casinos will remind you how much you are spending at various milestones, typically every $100 or $250.


For your security online, many games will time out after a period of inactivity online to prevent other unwanted users using your account. However, another sort of ‘timeout’ that many sites implement is the ability for you to temporarily freeze your account for a period of a day, a week or a month to stop yourself from going overboard. These functionalities will have no impact on your earnings or expenses, or good standing with the company, they are merely for your own safety and wellbeing. If you feel yourself, or a family member, struggling with addiction, these services are perfect for giving a cooling off period, before moving on to heavier measures as follows.

Self Exclusion

By self-exclusion this could mean that you deliberately take yourself away from the tables, both physically and online, and avoid gambling while your mental state and your finances recover. However, many casinos, lottery services and gambling sites and venues allow you to put a longer term ‘time out’ from their services. You can ask to be excluded for terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years in many cases, in which you enter an agreement not to use their services and they are given license to do everything in their power to stop you from using their services. Furthermore, if the problem reaches greater levels, you might want to consider using sites such as GAMSTOP (gamstop.co.uk) which enables you to activate a self-exclusion for yourself from every online gambling company licensed in Great Britain, for free.

Signs that you may have a gambling problem:

  • You may find that gambling is always on your mind and you talk about it to the exclusion of almost everything else.
  • You make bets and gamble with money you don’t have
  • You argue with friends and family about your gambling
  • You no longer care about your other hobbies or social activities.
  • You lie about your gambling
  • You use gambling to escape financial trouble
  • You borrow money, avoid paying bills, or sell possessions to fund your gambling
  • Feelings of depression, anxiety or irritation

If you find yourself beginning to feel these kinds of emotions or exhibit this behaviour, it might be high time for you to take a break from gambling and seek some recuperative activity.

Web Lottery Scams

Web lottery scams consist of fraudulent attempts to extract money from a user by posing as a legitimate web lottery service or winning player, and asking for financial details through the net Web Lottery scams are hugely prevalent on websites that are third-party, not secure and especially on those that provide unlicensed content. Web lottery scams often occur in pop-up windows or sidebar ads on these sorts of sites, but often email addresses and contact details are phished from your computer during browsing and farmed out to these companies.

Web Lottery scams are often very convincing, with bright flashing and well designed animations and ads same as any other web lottery. What makes it even harder to tell is how they appear to tell you that you have ‘won’. They could send emails, messages, even ring your phone with a very professional sounding employee. They might send letters to your home address, or messages on your Facebook, informing you that you have ‘won’ and should give them details. Here is what to look out for:

Do you recall entering the lottery they describe, on the date they describe. Especially for enthusiastic regular gamblers, this can often be difficult to ascertain. The best way to avoid being scammed is to keep an accurate and up to date record of all the lotteries you enter.

Are they pressuring you to respond in a very short time frame? Lotteries have expiry dates, this is true, but most of the time it would be a period of months or even a year after the draw. A terms and conditions page would also normally be provided.

Are they asking you to keep the prize confidential? This is merely a ploy to keep the fraud secret long enough until they can safely cut ties and handle the money before they are caught by the police or indeed a company they may be impersonating.

Do they know your name? Professional companies more often than not, especially if you registered with them, would use mail merge systems and templates to make your name appear at the top of the award email. If it is something generic such as ‘Dear Winner’ or ‘Dear Lucky Customer’ then this is a pretty clear signpost that it is a scam.

Is the referenced prize realistic? Do the prize size, currency and lottery name sound like something you would have entered and do they correlate to your home country?

Are you being asked for payment? A legitimate lottery win would never ask for a handling fee.

If you do encounter a scam such as those described above, it is best that you steer clear from these communications at least until multiple emails are sent. Oftentimes a genuine site will message a winner multiple times to remind them of their prize needing to be claimed whereas a scam site generally only messages once or twice. Steer clear of these emails, or better still, report the scam to a relevant body.

The Most Popular Sports for Gambling Worldwide

There is no denying that sports betting is an international phenomenon, with fans and adherents throughout the world. A billion-dollar global industry, sports betting draws hobbyists and pro-earners, high rollers and everymen to bookies and online books all across the globe. The rings of sports betting lying under the radar for society’s more infamous bracket in Asian countries gives sports betting a foothold at a level that a census could never pick up and so it is truly impossible to get a sense of just HOW popular sportsbetting is worldwide. A survey in September 2018 illustrated that 97.4% of the audience of horse-racing also liked to bet, and 86.4% of the audience for boxing, so it almost seems as if many popular sports worldwide are televised and watched primarily for people to bet on. So what sports are the supergiants worldwide for sports betting, and how can you tap into this burgeoning market?


British football has been a mainstay in the global betting market for aeons. From high profile British teams from Manchester United and Arsenal to Aston Villa and Chelsea, and national teams competing on the world stage, the reds the blues and the full colour spectrum in between are filled with talent from across the globe. The Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and of course, who could forget, the international megaevent: The World Cup, are the biggest draws for this sport. Many would instantly assume American Football to have an unmatchable following, especially in comparison to ‘Soccer’ but you’d be surprised the traction that association football has in the gambling scene, with soccer being the most popular sport for betting in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Football (US)

Everybody loves the Superbowl, right? One of the greatest and most exciting sports events in the world, held annually and watched internationally. Everything from the ads, to the crowd, to the merchandising to watching two American giants slug it out on the pitch for hours makes for quality television, and you would be right in thinking that it is also one of the giants of sports betting. Sports betting for American Football primarily bets on NFL games, the NFL Draft or NCAA games, as well of the Superbowl of course. There is a surprising following of the sport in other countries throughout the world, with widely successful American Football teams in the UK, such as big BAFA teams like the London Olympians in the sports own Premiere League, or with a following in even more surprising countries such as Germany. Countries worldwide have an investment in the sport either to have their own teams or to bet on the big NFL matches, and it is easier than ever to hop on the betting train with the wide variety of teams in the NFL, and given surprise Superbowl results recently (looking at you, Eagles/Patriots 2018), now is an exciting time to follow the sport more than ever.


Balling legends from Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson through to modern titans like Lebron have graced the NBA courts with stellar play and breakneck-paced games that it is impossible not to enjoy. Basketball’s main following lies in the USA, especially in the lower tiers of the NCAA, but huge all-American events such as the NBA Draft, Playoffs and Finals, and big NCAA events such as March Madness bring in huge gouts of sports betters and attention at the bookmakers. Whether you’re a Lakers fan or Miami Heat, there’s a team for you and an event worth keeping an eye out for.


Watching legends like Federer, Murray, Nadal and Djokovic slug it out at the US Open, Australian Open, French Open or Wimbledon makes tennis a huge spectacle sport worldwide. The sheer level of strength and endurance required for tennis games, often spanning hours and hours of relentless batting, is a sight to behold. Sports betting on Wimbledon is a huge event that draws huge numbers to bookies and online services everywhere, and given the range of events to bet on it is easy to find something for you. Even more exciting, this is the first sport on our list where women in the sport have almost an equal standing with the men’s tournaments, with legends such as Maria Sharapova or the Williams sisters drawing crowds the world over.


The bulk of cricket’s success lies in Europe, Australia and India, and events like the ICC World Cup, Ashes series and Indian Premiere League provide plenty of variety across the globe for aspiring gamblers to bet on. Whether its test cricket, an Ashes grudge match or a friendly, you can be sure there is something going on at the wickets somewhere for you to place your bets on.


Tiger Woods. Nick Faldo. Rory McIlroy. Household names for a household sport. Doubtless you’ve tried it, and either loved it or given up after your third bogey that day. God knows I have. Thankfully, international golfing events are highly televised, and golf is just as lucrative a sport as ever to be involved in. The PGA Tour is still just as active as ever and new crops of talent mean golf is an evolving sport at present, drawing crowds internationally to the PGA Tour, Masters Tours and Opens.

Formula 1

Formula 1 provides some of the most edge of your seat racing available today. Watching Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen lock horns and wheels at the top vying for pole position makes for intense watching. Furthermore, watching the best of automotive engineering from the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all competing with their most well-oiled machines makes F1 a hugely gratifying sport to watch, whichever Grand Prix you watch.


The popularity of boxing in countries like Britain, the USA and Russia is undeniable. Boxing, both male and female, at all levels, makes for huge edge of your seat viewing. Watching fighters like Joshua slug it out at the top for the heavyweight title is amazing enough, but there is such a variety in the fighting at the different weight classes that boxing really does have something for everybody. Especially nowadays with surprise matchups such as Conor McGregor’s fight with Mayweather in a world event pitting a UFC Fighter against a traditional boxer, and the rise of celebrity grudge matches like KSI vs Joe Weller, all brackets and all levels of skill are finding a following, especially at the bookies.

Horse Racing

Horse RacingHorse Racing is so reliant on its own betting and has SO much money riding on it that it not making the list would be absurd. Britain and Japan dump MILLIONS into horse racing, betting on the Grand National, Royal Ascot and Cheltenham races. There’s a reason ‘a day at the races’ has such implication of being a lucrative event. Horse Racing draws so much money into it, with so many variables at play when betting from the trainer’s form to the personal course records of both horse and jockey, that horse racing is and always has been one of the most gratifying sports to bet on.

Cryptic Crackdown: India tightens the noose on crypto

You may have seen in the news at this time a great amount of media attention being paid to the fact that the Indian government is attempting to put their foot down on cryptocurrency, for various reasons. Articles throughout the web cover this issue piecemeal but here, you can read an overview of exactly what issue India is taking.

So why exactly is India’s boot over the neck of private crypto? Why are words like digital rupee being bandied about? And what exactly does this mean for crypto outside of India?


The bulk of the issue that India takes with cryptocurrency boils down to the fact that is inherently non-sovereign. The private nature of these cryptocurrencies is what they take umbrage with, and the fact that the cryptocurrencies are beyond the government and crown’s regulation poses a problem for India’s economy, as many wealthy Indians are investing in these privately regulated currencies that are international and in almost all cases issued from overseas owners. The ostensible argument they make is that the idea of a private currency is incoherent with the very concept of a currency and cannot replace a fiat currency purely on the basis that they aren’t issued by the state.

They make an argument that investing in currencies such as Bitcoin furthermore put investor’s money at risk, but realistically this is merely a cover and the actual reason for their opposition to crypto is because the investment of some of India’s richest and most successful is going into foreign currencies rather than India’s own, devaluing it on the international stage.

Punitive Measures

A government panel controlled by the Finance Ministry (created by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Board, and Reserve Bank) has suggested a punishment ranging from fines to ten years of imprisonment for cryptocurrency usage in India. Outlawing conventional crypto with measures as severe as this seem absurd for the use of an otherwise legal and privately-owned service, especially considering how groundbreaking crypto is with regards to encryption, secure transaction, and the feasible effective transfer of large amounts of funds within a business environment.

Crypto’s Current Status in India

As of July 19, following a statement by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, no government measures against cryptocurrency use or towards creating a digital rupee have been levied. Apparently, it is difficult to levy any charges as cryptocurrency use does not violate any pre-existing laws in India enforced by the Reserve Bank of India or other authorities, so they are not currently actionable offences until a new law is drafted.

Despite this the government still does not recognise cryptocurrencies as legal tender, and so there is still a significant barrier to crypto’s use in India. Meanwhile, they have also expressed that they are open to a government-controlled sovereign Indian cryptocurrency. They believe it could be beneficial to the county and would improve the speed and security of India’s current payment infrastructure, most notably in the field of overseas international payment.

Leaked Crypto Bill

A leaked bill regarding the prohibition of all crypto besides a digital rupee suggests that India is well on its way to debating outlawing unauthorised crypto permanently. This unverified document lists cryptocurrency as “any information or code or number or token not being part of any Official Digital Currency, generated through cryptographic means or otherwise, providing a digital representation of value.”

It then suggests a digital rupee to be issued by the Reserve Bank to be accepted as legal tender. It makes it abundantly clear that “No person shall mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, issue, transfer, dispose of or use Cryptocurrency in the territory of India.”

A surprising but favourable caveat in this is that the use of DLTs or other ledger technologies for the purpose of education and research are exempted from these measures provided no cryptocurrency exchange for the purpose of financial transaction is enacted. Nor are there any punishments for creating a financial network with DLTs provided no exchange of the outlawed cryptocurrencies take place along these channels.

What Does This Mean For Crypto’s Future

The question that is therefore begged by this whole affair is in what light this paints crypto internationally and what the future may hold. It is unlikely that any Western countries will follow suit with India and outlaw the use of private crypto. India’s reluctance to outlaw the technology, only the currency which holds the value, illustrates that even they concede how ground-breaking crypto is and the bright future the technology paints for encrypted transaction and the movement of money internationally at a macro scale.

What we may, however, see is the rise of other sovereign cryptocurrencies in other nations, both Western and Eastern. The sheer convenience and security of crypto for large scale international transactions would make a nationalised sovereign cryptocurrency valuable and effective for government use in itself, while creating a national cryptocurrency for big investors to use would manage to drag at least some measure of cryptocurrency investment’s profit back into the country’s economy. We could furthermore see the rise of national cryptocurrency in somewhat more economically radical and totalitarian states such as communist China purely for the control it would offer them over national finance even in the digital datascape.

Is My Crypto In Danger?

It is undeniable that the recent trend of investment in private non-sovereign currencies by the highest echelons of society deprives national currencies of large amounts of money and devalues them. Even for Western nations and currencies this could be interpreted as damaging in the long term. However, the town criers and pseudo-demagogues crying doomsday and the collapse of national currencies and economies because of the advent of private currency in the digital mediascape are being overdramatic.The sheer fact of crypto’s value per unit being so high makes them almost useless for everyday transactions, and it is the transaction on the ground level that sustains sovereign currencies, the going to the shop for groceries and the buying of petrol, not the purchasing of multi million dollar multinational company shares, that sustains a fiat mint. As a result, you can rest assured that the death of private crypto is far beyond the foreseeable horizon, and the outlawing of crypto in India, even if it does get passed, does not signal a domino effect on an international scale. So keep trading, keep investing, and keep trusting in the bright future crypto paints for finance on a global scale.

12 tips on how to win an Online Poker Tournament

Are you new to poker tournaments, or just poker in general? Either way, check out this article for all the info you might need to take down that big first poker tournament win. Poker tournaments have been popular online for a number of years. They remain a great way to win big without risking too much money up-front. You might have a good cash game record, but winning a poker tournament requires a totally different set of skills and mindset.

In this article, we’ll assume you understand the basics of Texas Holdem poker along with having a general grasp of the main terms involved with the game. The main aim of this article is to get you from a novice poker player to someone with a good idea of the main tactics and strategies needed to be good at tournament poker. So let’s get started—how do you win an online poker tournament?

  1. Choose the right poker site
  2. Pick the right tournaments
  3. Look after your bankroll
  4. Use bonuses if you can
  5. Keep tight and careful early on
  6. Learn who you’re sitting with
  7. Consider using software
  8. You need a better hand to call an all-in than to go all-in first
  9. Be aware of the blinds and ante compared to your stack
  10. Loosen up as you approach the bubble
  11. Don’t go on tilt
  12. Be careful as every place means money in the later stages

Choose the right poker site

Before we look at actual strategy in a poker tournament, a lot of your success as a tournament poker player will depend on the site you’re playing at. It can be good to find a site with a lot of “fish”, or low-quality players—rather than one with only experienced poker experts. Another key consideration is the size of tournaments and the prizes on offer, as the bonuses you might be able to play with. You might also want to have a look at other factors including withdrawal options and side games.

Pick the right tournaments

When you’ve found the poker site for you, the next step is to pick the right tournament. This is another factor that plays a role in choosing the site in the first place, but also in picking tournament to enter once you’ve registered and deposited. Find tournaments with the right number of players for you. A big tournament with thousands of players will last longer, so be aware that they might take many hours to complete. However, the prizes can be much higher. Smaller tournaments can be quicker, but tournament play generally isn’t for people who are in a rush. Another thing you need to look for is tournaments with an overlay.

Overlay is when a tournament has positive value because the site is guaranteeing a certain prize fund and the tournament doesn’t have enough players. For example, a $10,000 prize fund at a $10 buy-in (not including rake) would need 1,000 players to have equal value. Any less than this means you’ve actually got positive value for this tournament. Remember that this figure can be skewed somewhat by rebuys.

Look after your bankroll

Many players simply deposit a certain amount and then enter a tournament to that value. That’s not the best way to manage your bankroll. Try only entering a tournament with a maximum value of 5% of your entire bankroll.

Use bonuses if you can

If you picked a site with bonus offers, make sure you can use these for tournament entries. You might also have got some tournament tickets when you signed up, so use these beforehand to get some free practice in and to try and boost your bankroll before you risk any real money.

Keep tight and careful early on

One key piece of strategic advice to remember in the early stages of a tournament is that if you lose your seat, you can’t win. That means you need to stay tight, and don’t be calling bets with inferior hands. Position is extremely important, and many players are far too loose in tournaments and get involved with hands they should just be folding pre-flop. Tighten up your starting hand requirements considerably in the early stages of a tournament, especially in early position on the table.

Learn who you’re sitting with

Be aware of which players are calling everything and which are tight. This can help give you a better indication of who you should and shouldn’t be getting involved with.

Consider using software

If you aren’t good at analysing and remembering players, you can get software like Pokertracker to give you a statistical view of them.

You need a better hand to call an all-in than to go all-in first

Remember, there are two ways to win from pushing all-in first (or raising). You either win the showdown or the other player folds. When you call an all-in, you better be sure you’ve got the best hand.

Be aware of the blinds and ante compared to your stack

This is an important thing to keep an eye on as the tournament progresses. That’s because the blind increases. Make sure you’ve got at least ten times the big blind or you might approach all-in mode. That’s when you have to start simply shoving all-in to try and pick up some blinds or double up. This is more effective as the tournament progresses as people get scared of losing their seat near the money places (or “bubble”).

Loosen up as you approach the bubble

As people become much tighter near the bubble, you can really make moves at this stage by picking up the ever-increasing blinds with careful late-position raises of 3 or 4 big blinds. If you’re desperate and only have less than ten times the big blind in your stack, you might need to shove all-in instead. Only make these raises if nobody else has called or raised before you, unless you have a great starting hand.

Don’t go on tilt

Keep your mindset in check and keep making a good decision, even if the cards have gone against you. Keeping a steady mindset is an important factor in becoming a good poker player at any level, especially during tournament play and in the latter stages of a tournament which can be stressful.

Be careful as every place means money in the later stages

Once you get to the final table, every time someone gets eliminated means you win more. So you might want to stay quiet and be careful. However, everyone will be doing this so it’s actually a time where you can make more money by being aggressive, especially as the blinds are so valuable at this point. It’s a fine balancing act that you might need to practice to get right.

Hopefully, these tips are enough to get you started towards tournament poker success.

It’s in The Game: a primer to eSports

Are eSports really sports? Is eSports betting really sports gambling? With the rise of the eSports community in the public eye and with increased commercialisation of competitive gaming in recent years, these are the kinds of questions that many are asking, and that betting enthusiasts and bookmakers should be asking themselves. Is the eSports betting market an untapped resource for gamblers, or is it an environment that you should avoid in case the industry collapses?

To answer the first question, eSports’ classification as sports is something that is still contested today and without a true hard and fast legal definition. Moves have been made towards recognition, ranging from the foundation of the South Korean eSports association in 2000, legitimising it as a sport, to considerations for an eSports division in the Olympics as we speak. The main argument against eSports being considered a sport is it taking place in a virtual environment, and the lack of a requirement for physical fitness to participate and succeed. There are plenty of arguments against this, with the physical condition of professional darts players often being cited, but the road to true legitimisation is still long and as yet unpaved.

With that being said, whether you believe eSports are true sports or not, the gambling community for the field is thriving, and the money to be had in the industry is significant. Companies like Pinnacle, who jumped on the eSports betting train since its nascency, but furthermore gambling giants such as Betfair and Bet365 are incorporating eSports into their services. Enormous six-figure prize pools, lucrative sponsorships and advertising deals draw in eSports teams the world over into a highly competitive and ravenous environment. “The International 2017” tournament in Seattle for DoTA 2 eSports teams still holds the Guinness World Record for the largest prize pool in a single eSports tournament, at a whopping 24,787,916 USD. Team Liquid, the winning competitors, received around 10 million USD collectively for their win.

The question must then be asked of whether this industry is rising, falling; secure or at risk. As recognition grows, we are seeing a rise in this industry’s viability and mainstream popularity, and so not only can we say that the industry is rising but it is also secure for the near future. Meanwhile, as technology develops further, especially with the new advancements in making VR gaming more commercially viable and widely available, as well as developing its technology to be increasingly responsive and immersive, the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Seeing skill-based games of all manner being performed in a virtual environment, and this concept being realised in the near future, isn’t beyond comprehension. So, we could therefore say that perhaps now is the best time more than ever to hop onto the eSports betting game.

A vast back catalogue of tournament footage, and especially the personal channels of team members on sites such as YouTube make eSports an environment where you can make very informed decisions on the skill level and probabilities of certain players winning. All the footage you need is freely and readily available, for players all around the world. Meanwhile, even a cursory Google search reveals plenty of bookmakers and service providers putting odds on team victories. The system of every other form of sports betting has been seamlessly applied to the eSports betting market, and so it will be intuitive to any gambling veteran. Tournaments are highly televised and often fill stadiums for many different genres of game.

This leads me on to another reason why eSports can be a very diverse environment for betting, in that there is a plethora of different game styles and genres up for eSports betting. Ranging from hugely successful first-person shooter types such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive; to sports games such as FIFA; Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games like World of Warcraft; Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games like DoTA 2 and League of Legends; and fighting games such as Street Fighter V or Tekken 7. There is something for everyone in the market to bet on and watch for entertainment.

However, this then raises the question of what exactly the negatives are of eSports, why they haven’t received such instant international recognition yet, and why many companies still aren’t offering them as part of their services. We need only watch a tournament or two to understand that much of these games are not realistic, difficult to understand if you don’t play the games yourselves or are just downright boring to watch. Watching a fighting game tournament for the likes of Blazblue or Street Fighter V consists largely of watching two characters hide in corners and throw out cursory jabs until one locks the other into an inescapable 20 hit combo that destroys the enemy entirely. Some relish the anticipation but many find it mind numbingly boring.

Watching a CS:GO tournament can be thoroughly unsatisfying and look positively mundane, meanwhile watching competitive World of Warcraft looks like a wall of unintelligible icons to the unfamiliar. Watching two fighters follow pre-set combo sequences is nothing compared to the organic, natural slugfest between two heavyweights in a title fight. Watching a ball sail through the air in the World Cup is far more breath-taking than watching a seemingly random side of high stat players collocated into a random player’s Ultimate Team. The virtual environment takes all the organic wonder and awe out of watching competitive sport.

Furthermore, you could reasonably argue that the random chance element in games is a much greater issue and source of potential upset and surprise results. Virtual environments obey the game’s engine and it is all too easy for a malfunction, a rogue bit of controller latency, or a criminal piece of poor combo timing to throw a player off.

Overall, as the eSports market stands today, there is an argument for both sides. Join in now and you will potentially hop onto a market that could climb exponentially in popularity and stakes, before the bookies catch on to the finer points of the market, and you could make a great deal of money by make more informed decisions on less informed odds. The drawback is that you could potentially be joining a static and dull market which doesn’t have the flair or sheer biological wonder of real sports. Let’s face it, are you going to get all your mates down to the local for a pint to watch a DoTA 2 tournament, or are you going to put the football on? It’s a no-brainer.