When you see a kid playing on their phone or Ipad you might guess they are on Facebook or perhaps enjoying a game of Angry Birds or similar. You might be right, but on the other hand there is every chance they are actually playing a social casino game.
‘Hit the jackpot’ is an idiom that literally means someone has won a great deal of money. Its other use is simply to describe a piece of luck such as finding an ideal home or a really nice restaurant or hotel. In today’s world there are regular jackpot winners with ever popular lotteries creating millionaires on a regular basis. The jackpots in other forms of gambling may not be so large. Nevertheless, for the casual gambler big wins are most welcome. Some people simply have a flutter as a bit of fun. The Grand National was always seen as the housewife’s favourite or the occasional pound in the pub’s slot machine. There is nothing wrong with betting and there is no doubt that the Internet has increased the number of people having a go. It is just so convenient.
In the UK, the National Lottery which is just over 20 years old, increased public participation in gambling. When the Internet became popular the numbers participating and the prizes rose. The development of attractive and informative websites made it simple to have a go each week. At the same time other websites opened that were able to replicate the experience of going to a casino to play roulette or blackjack.
There was a time when betting on horses was frowned on. It was often only possible to do it in secret. The bookmakers, as they became to be known, set the odds for a horse race. It only became legal in betting shops in the UK in 1961. Before that it was still popular, informal and fairly secretive; it was legal on race courses which were well attended as a result. The bookmaker looks to cover every possibility in order to make a profit for each event; it involves their laying off risks elsewhere to cover their exposure to loss unless they are prepared to take the risk of loss themselves. It is a matter of making the market and balancing the odds so that they are unconcerned about which horse wins, though the profit may vary on the outcome. In that respect, bookmakers are quite similar to those working in the insurance industry. However, the punter still looks to beat the bookies.
There are many different forms of gambling and while the National Lottery has increased public participation, horse racing is the sport that has traditionally attracted the most money.
While this gambling was legalised in betting shops over 60 years ago, it was only in 2005 that the Gambling Act stated that gambling debts were enforceable in law. It was therefore a danger to provide credit. That Act sought to regulate the gambling industry and how the industry could advertise. There are many companies looking to sponsor popular professional sports teams, especially soccer teams, to get their brand names imprinted on people’s minds. The advertising breaks in popular sports that are televised have also become popular slots for corporate advertising budgets.
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What sounds like a very low-tech and mildly amusing concept from BBC Radio 1 has become somehow become a mini phenomenon. At first you think ‘budget cuts’ and ‘is the best the British Broadcast Corporation can come up with’ and then you watch it and it’s, well, hilarious. Unless, you’re Will Ferrell.
How does it work? Well, the Scott Mills Show invites on a special celebrity guest and gets them to play a game where they listen to audio clips with certain phrases that can be construed as sexually suggestive. The tagline of the show is itself innuendo-worthy: ‘Time to make another celebrity wet”. The catch is they have to have a mouth full of water while they listen. And if they laugh, yes, it goes either all over them, in a bucket, or over the other person. The other person in the room is Chris Stark, who apart from starring on the show is famous for his unorthodox, viral interview with Mila Kunis.