Yeah, I've also been thinking about Internet gambling. I see an
opportunity here to break all the casinos, small-time operations with
loan sharks, and government lotteries - all the real exploiters - plus
provide a safe outlet for gambling addicts.
Run a zero-sum game and make money off of advertising.
Run a zero-sum game and make money off of advertising.Let people bet in lotteries on a community basis, say - like, say, the Los Angelos Urban Poor Lottery - so that (1) nobody is making money off them and (2) they know the money is going to people like them. Actually, when you consider the positive effect a few rich individuals can have on a community - venture capital, loans, political influence, media interfaces - playing a lottery like that might even be rational. I bet you could grab the entire lottery market that way. Less attraction for zero-sum roulette and zero-sum horse racing, but there are a lot of gamblers looking for an edge.
And, since the company would not care how much you actually bet (as long as you played), they could try to steer gambling addicts, or people who can't afford losses, into using "virtual money". With the advertising sold, it should still be possible to give out, say, a new refrigerator, in exchange for a million dollars of virtual money. You could also allow automatic "caps" that couldn't be removed for at least a month. Or you could have "multiplied money" where one cent equals a hundred dollars, allowing fractional betting.
I'm tossing out this idea for free because I'm worried about the
traditional gambling agencies, the ones with links to organized crime,
becoming displeased and expressing this displeasure via assassins and
media campaign. It can still be done, as long as you're willing to hole
up somewhere and spend a lot of time fighting, but I won't have the time
and my lifeplan gives me a high enough probability of being assassinated
already. If anybody makes a billion dollars off this, though, I may ask
you to fund a research project at some point.
email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with PatternsVoting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way