Jita, The Forge - The market for gambling has grown steadily over the last few years, with lotteries, entry-feed contests and casino-style gaming being offered by and to capsuleers by organizers ranging from large corporations to individual pilots.
Capsuleers very commonly seek ways to accrue ISK and assets for as little time away from the battlefield or other interests as possible. With betting offering a chance - a far from certain chance - for a ten- to hundred-fold return on investment, its popularity has boomed in the last few years.
The value of prizes offered can vary from a few millions in smaller games to billions of ISK. Games can be found offering awards as small as a tech 1 battleship, with others offering tech 2 ships, strategic cruisers or the upper-tier prizes of freighters, capital ships, rare faction vessels of all sizes and even super capital ships.
The pilots of New Eden are generally well known for their pursuit of wealth through investment, crime, harassment, scams and even the slower, more dependable income streams offered by industry and agent work, but the gambling industry fits a different pattern, as such games generate a loss for most participants yet psychologically, become more appealing thereby.
While there are always scam games, which sell tickets for entry and then vanish with the lottery holder taking all monies paid, there are a few established major lotteries that to date have a reputation for trustworthiness. The BIG Lottery, run by TornSoul, has been operating for years, with over 450 billion ISK in ticket sales to date. Chribba and Grendell, who also offer third-party trade services based on their reputations as trustworthy individuals, have also stepped into the gaming industry with lotteries of their own. Meanwhile, other games require a larger infrastructure behind them. SOMER Lotteries offer traditional lotteries as well as their high-speed "blink" games while EOH Poker now run the Ships of Eve lottery, which offers large collections of ships and some rarities, as well as their holographic poker tables and tournaments.
Chribba, a respected and widely known capsuleer has a long history of super capital ship lotteries. He has made approximately 70 super carrier lotteries worth around 1.5 trillion ISK, titan lotteries worth approximately 500 billion ISK over all and a number of rare ship lotteries which included a Tempest Tribal Issue, a Freki and other vessels, which have seen turnover of another 500 billion ISK. Chribba estimates the total value of all his lotteries at around 3,000, 000,000,000 ISK, which is more than most New Eden capsuleers have seen in their entire lives.
All the lotteries created by Chribba were profit-generating, with target ticket sales having a greater total value than the cost of the ship itself, while gauging a careful balance between keeping the price of individual tickets low enough to be accessible to a wide player-base, and keeping the number of tickets low enough for a single ticket to still give an appealing chance of winning. Chribba did not typically buy or own the prizes himself but offered the lottery "on behalf of the owner of the item."
The most expensive item ever given out by his lotteries was not a Titan, but the Tempest Tribal Issue, which as a near-unique battleship generated massive interest.
Chribba's lottery did not start as a lottery, he said. "It was an extension to the 3rd party service held for trading ships, to include selling them via lotteries." He has been running such games for approximately two years now and does not recall the first lottery he ever organized. Chribba stated that he "does not play [lotteries] himself".
Unfortunately Grendell was not available to comment on his lotteries, but it is known that his third party service organizes lotteries on a similar basis to Chribba and the total value of his third party deals is approximately 7.6 trillion ISK.
A corporation-run lottery, Ships of Eve (also known as SOE) was recently transferred to the control of EOH Poker by its previous owner, T'Amber. The original Ships Of Eve events were famous for giving away huge numbers of ships, ranging from tech one frigates to rare vessels worth billions of ISK and were run on a non-profit basis.
T'Amber once paid 50 billion isk for an Adrestia cruiser, making it the most expensive cruiser sale in the history of New Eden. The Adrestia cruiser was later lotteried by T'Amber who says she "ran an event for Hydra Reloaded and Pandemic Legion for the first available Utu and Adrestia." Afterwards, T'Amber said she "will never work for Pandemic again."
Last month, she sold off all her assets, including corporations and alliances under her control and sold the shares in www.shipsofeve.com as souvenirs, then paid final dividends. www.shipsofeve.com corporation was allegedly sold for a round twenty billion isk to EOH Poker, owned by Selene D'Celeste, whom T'Amber claims is a "trustworthy and rich [child born out of wedlock]." Unlike many of the pilots seen in Rens and Jita claiming to be giving away their fortunes, T'Amber did indeed give away her entire, considerable estate before she retired and has now gone on to a life in which the risk of being shot will hopefully be less.
Head of another gaming organization, Somerset Mahm has a total of nine employees who run SOMER.blink and SOMER Lotteries. SOMER runs three different systems; SOMER.blink and SOMER Lotteries are run in-house and are profit-generating, while a third branch of Somerset Mahm's operation offers SOMER's software to third-party capsuleers to create their own lotteries.
The two SOMER lotteries have run over twenty thousand games since the first game on 08.02.112. The total value of assets and ISK won in his lotteries has increased greatly in the last few months: 372 billion in 09.112, 2.19 trillion in 10.112 and 5.83 trillion in 11.112, while this month's total is expected to exceed even that.
Somer have lotteried capital, super capital and collectable ships including an Utu, Mimir and an Adrestia.
The gambling business in New Eden is on the rise, with trillions of ISK transferred to lottery organizers every month and the most expensive vessels in New Eden changing ownership sometimes for a single ticket worth a few million ISK.
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