Don’t look now but the future is already with us, and in this new rapid techno-change world there really isn’t a need for the old world bricks-&-mortar casinos
Futurist Douglas Coupland, the man who gave the term “Generation X” more of a definition than Billy Idol and his chums ever did, recently appeared on Channel 4 News to promote his new book, a tome he said was written specifically to be unintelligible to anyone reading it ten or fifteen years ago. The book itself is a muse on the manner in which technology has changed our world and the way we perceive or interact with it. For a book plug it was a bit depressing really.
Real World Casinos Are Awful
• Ugly money-fleecing operations
• Run by the rich & greedy
• Their dominance at an end
Douglas, gambling news presenter Jon Snow wouldn’t drown him in admiration before the end of the interview, said that rather than having a future to look forward to, we were, as a species living in an Extreme Present where the rapid pace of techno-change never allows us to look ahead in wondrous hope and optimism because there’s too much we have to catch up on right now. The future never happens, apparently, because we’re already living it. The culprit behind this acceleration?
The internet has not only warped the world around it, but has also sent us into warp speed, so now we’re all strapped to this runaway technological evolution that has changed the what, where, when, how and why of just about every facet of our existences. We are now a very different species than we were a few decades ago, we have, quite definitely, begun the long slow process of turning ourselves into cyborgs, and, if that sounds silly to you, think again (or if you’re reading this in 100 years time, just reboot yourself).
This insertion of technology into ourselves will merely be a continuation of the manner in which the internet and modern communications has penetrated and effected all our lives. Of course just because it’s inevitable doesn’t mean some people with a vested interest in the anachronisms of the past won’t try their level best to halt this evolution of the human species. Watching them fail is going to be amusing, because the internet has held up a mirror to what they do and provided an alternative.
The Internet Holds All The Cards
The arrival of online gambling in the US for example has sent the real-world casino owning fraternity into a sort of headlong panic that has resulted in their attempting to change US gambling laws to prevent this new facility from competing with their old facilities. It is competition against which their tired old other-people’s-money-farming casinos will simply crumble because, in the end, there’s one overriding factor that makes real-world casinos ripe for being replaced by a techno-equivalent.
We’ll leave aside, just for a moment, how startlingly ugly they all are, sitting in the landscape of wherever they’re placed like the fantasy turd of a colorblind magpie on bad acid, and not even mention the wholly ghastly nature of all their fat, right-wing, orange-faced, wig-wearing owners, and instead, just for now concentrate on the one aspect of real-world casino gambling that proponents constantly hold up as being irreplaceable by the future of online gambling; The glamorous atmosphere.
<br this="" is,="" lets="" face="" it,="" a="" total="" crock.="" anyone="" who="" walks="" into="" casino="" and="" doesn't="" feel="" the="" air="" of="" menace="" exuded="" by="" their="" security="" staff="" is="" probably="" too="" drunk="" to="" be="" in="" first="" place.="" sitting="" feet="" away="" from="" man="" tux="" has="" an="" iq="" lower="" than="" value="" cards="" your="" hand="" keeps="" eying="" you="" like="" might="" explode="" at="" any="" second,="" isn't="" particularly="" comfortable.="" what="" makes="" it="" worse="" know="" they="" want="" money.
Casinos, especially the larger ones with a hotel attached, are just mincing machines that push people with money in at one end, do all they can to relieve those there of their money, then shoves them out of the exits just as fast as they can. The extreme profit motive brought on by high running costs and massive capital investment mean they have to keep the flow of victims moving through their money fleecing machine, and where once that was fine because there was no alternative, now there is.
Online Gambling Is Nicer
Internet betting in US worries casino owners so much because it’s nicer, easier, more convenient, greener, less menacing and doesn’t involve staying in a tacky house of robbery disguised as a hotel/casino resort. Sites like Bet365 offer a gloriously accessible facility that matches the risk/reward dynamic of any real-world casino without the negative side-effects and allowing you to wager as you wish, when you wish, wearing what you wish without being constantly under the watchful eyes of those after your cash.
That the internet casino will replace the real-world one, for all but the uber-rich, is as inevitable as the replacement of the horse by the car. Those that stand in the way of this evolution by attempting to gain political influence and control enough to stop it, are likely to get run down. Not because they might succeed, rich people often get their way, but because it won’t matter. China has long sought to stamp out gambling online, and yet, with the internet, people find a way.
The forces ranged against this process of development, this new frontier, are attempting to obstruct the inexorable tide of change and technological progress just the same as people have down the centuries out of fear, greed or stupidity. Their failure is certain, their old-world dominance is at an end and their attempts to wield their money and influence will come to nothing more than a staving off of the inevitable at most, and as Mr. Coupland made clear, there isn’t a future to stave off, it’s already here.
Living in the past has never been a particularly successful strategy in business, and whilst these fat, greedy old men are rich enough to delude themselves they can make time stand still, their machinations are just the last dying breath of an industry that has become as outmoded, redundant and moribund as a typewriter or cassette player. One day very soon the only real world casinos will be museum attractions, the subject of documentaries on the history channel alongside the Third Reich and Pyramids, just another unnecessary encumbrance thrown off by the progress of humankind.