Whether it is on the street or online, one cannot escape the force that has become the state of Internet gambling. You cannot hide from it because it is crossing international borders as easily as George W. Bush’s ‘war on terrorism’ helped invade Iraq. Online casino gambling and playing poker online has never been as easy and simple, and you become awestruck by the amount of variety and diversity you have to choose from when picking the right casino to play at.
This leads one to question whether online casino gambling is really under the radar, as some say it is, when all you see when you connect to your ISP is a banner advertisement for the latest “bonus match” or “new member promotion” that is featured quite prominently on search engines like, Google, MSN and Yahoo. One starts to question the credibility of news websites and newspapers too when you’re skimming the headlines and you land on a page full of competitions and surveys that are being conducted by casino operators sexy baccarat. A good example of this bombardment of ‘casino media’, which is what I like to call it, is the news24.com website.
Among the bevy of headlines and other sections are casino adverts by Piggs Peak and Silver Sands, which are casinos available to South African gamblers and gamblers in surrounding countries. They take over the page and invade your monitor like insurance adverts and other consumer-driven products because of their delightful themes and colourful graphics. There is no limit to the promotional and marketing tactics that online casinos will use to get their message out there, and this can be to their advantage and disadvantage.
It is by no means a moral reflection of the online casino industry and neither is it a mirror image of our society, but an enlightenment of what our society has become. Media pervasiveness has never been as real as it is now in the ‘millennium years’. We need to take a good look at the media out there and realise that companies, casinos and the like are only trying to use the tools that have been offered by a society bent on getting a message out there, and one needs to take the consumption of all kinds of media and look at it in context of what it is – media.
The Internet allows companies to do what they will and one could push the boundaries when it comes to design and graphics on the Net, but when you enter the marketing of the real world, it becomes a whole other ball game. You have to be ware of legislation and social responsibility as a company, and one has to start thinking in the box as opposed to out of it.
This begins to limit one’s options as to where to advertise, when to advertise and how to advertise. Online casinos have therefore had to look at new and innovative ways to grab new audiences and to sustain their existing players’ interest. The perfect opportunity arose from the travel industry’s “cruise ships”, and now in collaboration with an even more well-established industry, online casinos and poker rooms are using the tournaments and luxury cruise ships as a means to get people playing more.
A player’s incentive to playing and winning online is now added to the opportunity of gaining access to exclusive tournaments that are held on luxury cruise liners, and which offers bigger better prize pools that one can feel and touch. In other words online gaming now gives players a real, live and interactive feel for playing online and the better you are at playing, the more real the prize pool becomes. In other words, online casinos are making it more real for people to play online because they not only offer an experience but a pleasing memory that is sure to last forever.
So you see if you think about it a little more, you’ll begin to realise that it’s not online casinos that are the problem but a society that allows us to tune out what’s really in front of us, which is all media really. This is surely something to think about because media can be pervasive and this is worrisome, and is one of the areas that need our constant attention. If you had to tune in to what you see, you’ll realise that online gambling is like any other industry out there, they all need to send out messages to give them the assurance that makes them feel like they’re needed and wanted, and that they too are a part of society too.