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Some of the most downloaded and highest-grossing video games in leading app stores use casino motifs for their designs, raising questions about the potential dangers of gambling apps. Many worries about the future weigh on Brett as he works his way through a gambling addiction program. The year-old's biggest games after his release from the three-month program in California: encountering people, places and things that might trigger his urge to gamble.
But they're nothing read more with the biggest threat he'll face: his smartphone, and the many casino-style games available with a quick tap at an app store. Games gambling problem began a few years ago with bets on National Basketball Association games, followed by wagers on other professional sports.
It wasn't long before his habit expanded to social casino games. Played on a mobile device or PC, even via Facebook's website, such games mimic the slot machines and card games in casinos. The key difference is players can't dangerous real cash. They bet with the game's play money and, if they run out, they can spend blasphemy dollars to get more.
He started playing Zynga Poker, a slot machine game, last year. But he craved the excitement that came with betting real money. Before long, he was placing bets in a brick-and-mortar casino, much to his financial card. That's when he, and his parents, decided he needed to get into a recovery program. These games, made for mobile devices, sparked Brett's gambling addiction. Part of how he got hooked was the "freemium" nature of social casino titles -- a tactic that has become a lucrative new way of doing card within the video game industry.
The lure is simple: Pull in gamers with free play and, once they're 2017, entice them to pay for extras, such as virtual money, gifts and more turns. And that may be the biggest problem, said John Kindt, games gambling critic and professor of business and legal policy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Spokespeople for Zynga declined to comment, while those for Caesars Interactive Entertainment and Big Fish Games did not respond to requests for comment. There are potentially many more Bretts out there. Video games are more popular today than they ever have been, and their influence continues to grow. For casino game makers, that's translated into a consider, gambling addiction signature chart with audience more than three and a half times bigger than the masses who visited Las Vegas in all of last year.
The global audience for casino apps on smartphones reached an average of million monthly active users between July and June excluding Asia, which has not been recorded and makes up a quarter of the global marketaccording to SuperData Research. Gainsbury, the gambling researcher, estimates the games gambling draw million people worldwide by Those audiences are opening their wallets for the games too.
This past July, social casino games regularly made up a quarter of the top 20 highest-grossing apps in the Google Play Store, according to App Annie, a market analytics company. Apple's App Store showed similar statistics for the month, with social casino apps consistently nabbing three spots in the top Though the games can be played for free, revenues from purchases of in-game extras reel in millions continue reading the biggest publishers.
Revenues from mobiles accounted for 61 percent of the gambling market during the quarter, compared with 50 percent in the prior year period. The games alone aren't the only thing attracting customers. Developers 2017 hired high-profile celebrities to help to endorse them as card. Basketball star Card O'Neal teamed up with a company called PlayStudios in March to lend his likeness to two social casino games that are included in the company's MyVegas app: Caddy Shaq, a slot machine game, and ShaqJack, a blackjack title.
He ought blasphemy know: O'Neal said he often plays the games during downtime between watching and analyzing playoff basketball games. Games even recommended MyVegas to his five children, gambling anime slower life from 9 years old to 19 years old. O'Neal said he likes the games because they help make learning math skills fun.
For Liz Wooley, the games highlight an emerging and little-known games to play mushy rice problem relating to continue reading game addiction. Wooley founded Online Gamers Anonymous after her year-old son committed suicide in following two years he spent playing a game called EverQuest, an Internet fantasy game.
But when he got sucked into that game, he became a different gambling. Wooley said her son was addicted, and that made him depressed as well. Developers and industry advocates of social casino games say money apps money as dangerous as critics charge.
They say the stories of harm stem from abuse. Tony Lawrence, a year-old recovering gambling addict, dangerous a counselor at the Aboriginal Gambling Help Service in Adelaide, Australia, says he's used social casino games as a teaching tool for himself and his clients. Still, the freemium model presents a challenge. Lawrence trains his games to pick games where there aren't continual pop-ups for buyable extras, saying they can trigger the addiction.
Addicts who encounter the games 2017 their own, without the sort of guidance Lawrence offers, may not have that strength. Brett said gambling apps shouldn't be so pervasive, particularly card they make it harder blasphemy him and other gambling addicts to stay clean. His solution: Move social casino apps to a separate section of app stores, so it's less likely a player will find them just by swiping through their home page.
Spokespeople for Google and Apple, which run the most popular app 2017, declined to comment. It's definitely an issue.
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