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Escape from Reality: Gambling Opportunities in Virtual Realms

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Fantasy worlds created by online role-playing games help gamblers escape the harsh reality of anti-gambling laws.

During the last few years, massively multiplayer online role-playing games or MMORPGs have become very popular. Since online gambling is illegal in all but three US states, it wasn’t long until a dwarf or troll with a passion for tricks figured out a way to make some extra gold without putting any effort into tiring virtual work such as mining.

Gamblers soon realized that this is actually a smart way to get around American gambling laws, because betting in a virtual world can’t actually be considered illegal online gambling, as the only thing players can wager is in-game money.

The most popular gambling options found in massively multiplayer online role-playing games are:

• Poker

• Sports betting

• Casino games

• Slot machines

• Blackjack

Here are some of the most popular online role-playing games that have betting or casino games:

World of Warcraft – Many years ago, the classic version of this popular game offered players the possibility to play in a virtual casino. This was only available for a short while, though, as the game developer decided to shut the virtual venue down.

However, players soon found another way to satisfy their need for gambling, by using the “/roll” function that generates a random number from 1 to 100. Basically, the “bookmaker” bets players a certain amount of money and keeps it if they roll lower than 60, pays double if they roll higher. Of course, the game has several variations, depending on the bookie.

Dissatisfied customers have reported such betting businesses to game masters, and opinions differed on the matter. While European servers are said to prohibit in-game gambling, American ones “strongly discourage” it.

Puzzle Pirates – While very different from World of Warcraft, this game allows players to take on the role of a pirate and go on a virtual adventure on the high seas. This is a very rudimentary game without any fancy graphics, but gamblers looking to play online poker in the US might enjoy it because it features Texas Hold’em. Other than that, players can advance by solving puzzles, which can be quite fun.

Fallen Earth – The world of Fallen Earth is full of places where people can gamble. Players may use their chips in casinos or “Bunker bars”, either for blackjack or on a one-armed bandit slot machine. According to the story, the last survivors who arrived to Las Vegas brought poker chips with them and these are the only currency used in this game.


Guild Wars
– Players attending the festivities of Canthan New Year can enjoy a mini-game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. In order to play, they have to pay one Lunar Token to Lucky Hochei, a character who can be found in Lion’s Arch, then type either “/rock”, “/paper” or “/scissors”. The reward is a Sugary Blue Drink and Lunar Fortune. Cheers!

Dragon’s Tale Online – This MMORPG was created for passionate players. Some have even called it “Disneyland for gamblers”. Users are transported to a three-dimensional fantasy-world and while exploring the island and learning its secrets, they can play a number of unique games, some based on luck and some based on skills. There is even an ATM in this virtual world, but US residents can only use bitcoins.

Asheron’s Call – Although not so popular anymore, this old fantasy MMORPG had gambling venues and offered several fun casino games. Players had the possibility to buy low, medium or high stake tokens and as soon as they handed them over to any of the Game masters found in casinos, the fun could begin.

Popular rewards included: seals, iron keys, elixirs, charms, undead femur bones, skulls, swamp stones, healing kits and something called a “vapor golem heart”. Really worth your 5 to 50,000 pyreal, right?

Lineage 2 – For those looking to bet on something more exotic and interesting than horse races, this game has a Monster Derby, where eight monsters compete and players can place bets on their favorite one. Races take place every 20 minutes, but only in daytime.

While trying to guess which monster will win the derby sure sounds like a lot of fun, gamblers can also opt for lottery games. Instead of buying tickets with a predetermined number, players can have to go to lottery sellers and pick five numbers from a total of 20. One game is held every two days and the winners are drawn at noon.

EVE Online – Players bored of pretending to be dwarves or knights might prefer this science-fiction MMORPG. For those attracted to the idea of playing poker in space, there are several Texas Hold’Em tournaments going on.

Users hosting the events even advertise their offers on forums: “Bored while mining? Sitting at a gatecamp for hours on end? Need some extra money for that shiny new ship you’ve had your eyes on? Come play poker for both fun and profit,” says one very appealing invitation.

With so many gambling options in the world of MMORPGs, it comes as no surprise that many American players prefer to escape reality for a few hours and log into some fantasy world, where they are free to gamble away all of their virtual funds.

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