Responsible Gaming and Addiction

Gaming is one of those fun activities that most Ugandans find appealing. This is especially true for online gaming and online casinos. The beauty is that gaming online is safe because the regulation bit has been taken care of the National Gaming Board Uganda which is a body corporate that was established to ensure responsible gaming in Uganda.

Despite the regulation that has been put in place, it is still your responsibility as a player to ensure that you play the right way and avoid any gambling issues that may arise. Many games have gotten addicted because they probably were not advised as to how best to play. Many have found themselves borrowing money to facilitate their gaming and losing jobs all because they do not exercise any form of restraint. The truth of the matter is that for you to reap anything out of gaming, you need to be extremely disciplined.

The commonest symptom of gambling is the inability to stop irrespective of how much money has been lost. Addicts are the gamers that you will find playing day or night and who often resort to pleading tactics when told to stop. They keep requesting for more time or one more game. Addiction is mostly intensified or fuelled by the use of substances like alcohol and drugs since these remove any inhibitions that one might have.

How to avoid the addiction – The Four Pointers

  1. Have a pre-set budget: Creating a budget will give you a discipline that you need while gaming. Given that people earn different incomes, it’s essential that you do not base your budget on that of others but rather create one that fits perfectly into your income. Remember that gaming money should not take priority over bills like rent, food and tuition. It should be taken from your supplementary budget after other essential expenses have been removed. Remember to stick to your budget and not divert from it irrespective of whether you are winning or losing. If you need to reinvest, rather invest with your winnings than with money that is not budgeted for.
  2. Do not accumulate unnecessary debts: Borrowing is not a good decision when it comes to gaming. Not only will it create unnecessary anxiety but will also put a lot of strain on your finances. Remember that gaming is not a necessity so if you have no money, you would rather postpone it than enter into debts.
  3. Follow a strict set of rules: Setting your personal rules will help you have a discipline when playing. Set a time frame within which to play so as to leave room for other activities. Also essential is that you do not raise the stakes when you lose. Count all losses as such as opposed to them being a ticket for further playing. It is also essential that you follow the rules that you have set and not deviate from them.
  4. Never rely on your luck: Luck is just odds and this might not guarantee a good gaming experience for you. It is important that you understand that at certain times you will win while other times you will lose. At some point you will hit a jackpot but this does not mean that you should continue playing thinking that it is your night. It is important that you have fun while playing and not take the game too seriously. So play for playing sake and have fun while at it.

The above are just a few pointers of how to avoid gambling. However, in the event that you find yourself an addict, there is still hope for you. You might need some professional help along the way and might even need to close your accounts for a while until you get things under control.

MMORPG-Multiplayer Online Gaming

MMORPG, as defined by Wikipedia; “MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) is a genre of online computer role-playing games (RPGs) in which a large number of players interact with one another in a virtual world. As in all RPGs, players assume the role of a fictional character (most commonly in a fantasy setting) and take control over many of that character’s actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player RPGs by the number of players, and by the game’s persistent world, usually hosted by the game’s publisher, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is away from the game.

MMORPGs are very popular throughout the world, with combined global memberships in subscription and non-subscription games exceeding 15 million as of 2006. Overall, revenues for MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005 and are expected to reach over a billion dollars by 2009.” (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

If there ever were something that has truly become a unique innovation in videogames, it would be online gaming and its ability to provide for multiplayer games. Now, multiplayer online gaming is not something that is new as it has been around for eight years having debuted with DOOM in 1998. Multiplayer online gaming, however, was not instantaneously popular across the whole spectrum of PC gamers. It took a while for the ball to get rolling, but when it finally did start to gain momentum that the following that developed has seemingly exceeded even the most optimistic expectations of the early days.

Defining Multiplayer Online Gaming

For those not familiar with the term, multiplayer online gaming involves several players can participate in an online game at the same time. They can work as a team facing the computer or they can play against each other. It has been said that multiplayer games of this nature were the first shift from computer games where a human faces an artificial intelligence to where humans play against other humans. In a way, this phase that online games have entered seems to be a return to the past in terms of delivering the same purpose of games of old.

The Old Days

Parker Brothers did not make a mint selling all those board games because the games were fascinating to play. (Most of the games were extremely simple minded, but benefited from excellent marketing campaigns) Part of the reason families and individuals loved to play these games was because they were social events where people could get together and have a lot of fun interacting. Yes, there were competitive people who took playing the board games too serious at times, but generally people liked to spend time together and have a blast with these classic games.

When videogames became more and more popular, the games took a protracted approach to developing one player games. This ended up killing off a great deal of the benefits of social interaction. With the advent of multiplayer online gaming, video and computer games have joined the realm of social interaction filling the seeming void formerly held by board games. (Board games, however, are still popular and sell strong)

Multiplayer PC games serve and excellent purpose of increasing the social lines of communication between people all across the globe and will probably continue to expand in volume and popularity.

Computer Gaming Online Role-Playing

Computer gaming online role-playing is quite a fun spin on the old favorite of role-playing games that have been sold in comic shops for years. In a way, this is consistent with the expanding world of were our leisure activities are going as computers become more and more ingrained in our society and culture.

Role-playing games started in the 1970’s with Dungeons and Dragons and quickly grew to include virtually any type of game or scenario one could imagine including games that revolved around action-adventure, science fiction, espionage, horror, sports and a ton of other genres.

The Computer Version Of Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games eliminated the traditional cause effect method that board games utilized and turned games into an improvisational exercise that proved intriguing. In time, people started to use computer gaming online to expand how role playing games can be conducted. In the computer gaming online variant of role-playing, players will write/type their ‘scenarios’ and submit them via email to the person running the game. The game master then weighs all the emails from the various players to decide how these scenarios play off against each other in order to further the game. Sounds fun, huh?

So How Do The Role Playing Game Producers Feel About This?

Now, while one would assume that the role-playing game companies would love the fact that there are computer gaming online means of playing the games and expanding their customer base, some role-playing game companies have some misgivings about this computer gaming online expansion.

In a way, the computer gaming online role-playing has hurt sales of game packages because people no longer have the need for a role-playing set as they are not playing in a room together and are connected electronically from all over the globe. It would be doubtful that the bottom will fall out on many of these game producing companies as the product that they offer is still very popular, but there have been some dollars lost due to the free competition that the computer gaming online role-playing provides.

Granted, many of these companies offer their own free online role-playing services as a means of promoting their product. They have also offered fee based subscription online role-playing games so the internet provides a solid revenue stream for the companies. There is a paradoxical relationship between the role-playing game companies and the internet, but ultimately, the internet has been good to these companies and will continue to benefit them provided the companies evolve accordingly.

Fox Lake IL Gaming Laws

As early as 2009, 3 years before Fox Lake adopted the 230 ILCS 40 (code for the new video gaming laws), Ed Bender, the then Fox Lake Mayor had seen both sides of the coin regarding the video gaming act. If enacted, he said it might bring the town a bad reputation but at the same time, perhaps it would also attract video gaming enthusiasts from neighboring towns and states where video gambling was illegal. Today, seven years later, video gambling has done more good than harm for Fox Lake and its community. And true to his words, many businesses have sprung up back to their feet. Business data shows that the enactment of this legislation has been good for the whole of Illinois and more local governments are adopting this new law.

By 2012, Fox Lake was waiting for the Illinois Gaming Board to finalize its regulations for the state-run video gaming network so that qualifying business people in the village could apply for their video gaming licenses. Thus, Fox Lake is one of the towns in Illinois that adopted the new video gaming regulations as soon as the law was enacted. How has this affected business in Fox Lake? Many proprietors say they have benefited greatly as we will see later in this article.

At the time, many people thought it was good news – they were right

In 2008, the Illinois smoking ban had gone into effect and it had affected many businesses, with some tavern owners reporting up to 30% less business. However, there was a silver lining in the cloud with the enactment of the 230 ILCS 40 because it would bring back business and compensate the owners for the business they had lost since the smoking ban went into effect.

In a board meeting involving business people and Fox Lake leaders, 10 business people asked the leaders to vote in favor of adopting the new video gaming laws.

But the laws were not accepted from the word go without opposition. Mike Behan, the then Police Chief for Fox Lake had written to the board showing his concerns about the intended adoption of the law. Among his concerns was that legalized video gambling would cause more alcoholism, financial problems in the local families and drunken driving. He was also fearing an increase in embezzlement and fraud cases but he did say that the police would consent to whatever the board voted for.

So, after the adoption of the new video gaming law of Illinois in 2012, has Chief Mike Behan been proved right or has the former mayor been vindicated by an increase in business? All of the evidence available points to the latter. You can confidently conclude that the Fox Lake adoption of the new Illinois video gambling laws was well advised and that it has brought more financial benefits than harm to the locals.

October 2012 to October 2013

The state of Illinois passed the law legalizing video gambling in 2009. Under the new law, fraternal organizations, truck stops, bars, veterans groups and restaurants could set up to 5 terminals in their establishments. They would however have to get a license for each terminal from the Illinois Gaming Board. From 2009, it took a further three years to streamline the regulation but when everything fell into place, Fox Lake was one of the first places to get on the state-run video gaming network, in 2012.

In the first year of approving video gambling licenses in the suburb, the city officials had only budgeted for $12,000 but to their pleasant surprise, the amount of money that video gaming raked in for them was many times more than that, at a handsome $93,338. This revenue was used for funding the Pace Bus program and since then, video gaming revenue has been directed to huge improvements in the village. For a small place like Fox Lake to earn more than $90K in the first year of operation, it shows that there is a lot of potential in video gambling and that is what prompted the licensing authorities to license more establishments to host video gaming terminals.

Fox Lake establishments that have video gaming terminals

Many businesses have enjoyed the benefits of legalized video gambling. One of these businesses is Stella’s Place that offers restaurant services as well as video gaming services. But it is the gaming experience that you will get there that is so outstanding, with more than 40 of video poker games and slots. The beautiful ambience and the good food add to the warmth of the place, attracting more diners and gamers.

It is open every day from 8.00Am to 2.00AM and while it has many items on the menu, gaming is the main course. It is the ideal entertainment place for grownups who want to have a video poker experience to try their luck.

J’s Sports Bar and Grill in Fox Lake has also been a big beneficiary from the proceeds raked in from video gaming. The owner of this establishment once said that video gaming saved the business from closing. Video gaming with voucher payments is now one of the biggest attractions on the J’s Sports Bar menu.

Fox Lake Country Club has 5 gaming terminals, the maximum number that is allowed by the law. The total amount won here is $8,421,675.44 so far. This establishment offers an 18-hole golf course and because it is open to the public, it is a very popular venue for summer vacations and video gaming.

Hidden Point Bar & Grill offers video poker from its three video gambling terminals. This is in accompaniment to some of the tastiest Mexican pork tacos that you will ever taste in the world. The total amount of money won at these three terminals comes up to more than $1.5 million.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the 2012 decision to allow Fox Lake to get on the state-run video gaming network was a good decision for all parties involved. Business has grown exponentially with some proprietors saying that having video gaming terminals in their establishments saved them from closing down. The local and state governments have also benefitted by getting more revenue to run community programs for the benefit of their citizens. With legalized video gambling in the state of Illinois, more income and better business opportunities have been generated.