Gambling as a pastime has continued to grow across the cluster and is finding increasing popularity amongst capsuleers as a result. More and more so-called “gambling dens” are being set up by this elite class in areas where there is no legislation to govern them or regulators to monitor their activities.
Most commonly, this has taken the form of private fluid router networks. There are countless arrangements of this type, rendering it effectively impossible for the more questionable establishments to be found and dealt with. For a more traditional feel, some betting games are even hosted aboard any vessels at a capsuleers’ disposal. Ships that can move out to low-sec and nullsec security areas whenever they choose have been able to operate with impunity, free from CONCORD and Customs intervention.
Those in the Caldari State’s gambling industry are understandably displeased with this latest development. Gambling is a huge part of all empire’s entertainment industries, but nowhere is this more true than in the State. Industry officials frequently decry the risks and problems associated with black market gambling. Those in the Federation and other empires are quick to question their motives however; pointing to frequent allegations and indeed widespread perceptions that the State has a robust and healthy black-market gambling industry of its own.
Many have questioned just what is behind this latest surge but experts say the answer is simple: profit. Estimates based on reliable figures state that billions upon billions of ISK is passing through these dens on a daily basis. The sheer amount of money traded stands as a testament to the allure of gambling, which can turn a pauper into a billionaire on the turn of single card. Other factors such as a criminal’s lack of access to most legitimate gambling tables have helped spur this recent growth on as well.
One increasingly popular form of gambling amongst the capsuleer class at this time is poker, a game that stretches back to the early settlement of the cluster and has seen a myriad of reinventions in its time. One of the more dominant groups in the poker industry at the moment is Tempest Entertainment, owned and operated by the capsuleer Krestin. It is rumoured that Tempest soon plans to hold a high-stakes tournament that could potentially host hundreds of players, and allegedly holds a jackpot worth around twenty billion ISK.
With prizes that could set a capsuleer up for life it is little wonder that many pilots succumb to the downward spiral of gambling addiction, chasing that ever elusive win. No matter how well a person plays, one thing has always remained true since the very first bet was made.
The house always wins.
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