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SEGA Casino, A Trap for Underage Online Gamblers?

19 January 2010 by Devon Chappell

segacasinoOkay, so finally I have some confirmation on this SEGA casino that I’ve been hearing about. Yep, I’m a little slow on the uptake, so please bear with if you already know the down-low about SEGA casino. Not to say that I didn’t know about it myself, I just wasn’t sure if they were actually something worth writing up, and whether or not this was the same SEGA that brings you SEGA video games.

So, I’m still not sure they are worth writing up, but I’m going to anyways simply because I have to get some things off my chest. Thus far, all I’ve been hearing about from gambling news portal sites are rewrites of a press release announcing the launch of SEGA Casino. It’s basically been one huge advertisement for SEGA Casino. In a way, me just talking about them is an advertisement, but I am definitely not going so far as to promote SEGA Casino. Here’s why.

I don’t know about you, but it kind of rubs me the wrong way when a video game supplier enters the online gambling market, being that the core market of video games are kids. Sure, there are lots of grown adults who enjoy their video games as well, but it can’t be denied that SEGA is a name most video gaming kids under the age of eighteen know about.

Granted, I would think that Japan-based SEGA would not be cross-promoting their video gaming package with their online casino games. However, we’re talking just a few degrees of separation between a young kid excited about playing SEGA video games on his Play Station, and the same young kid excited about playing the same video game but with the chance of winning money.

I decided to give an in-depth look at the main SEGA website (Sega.com) including their corporate website. Thus far, it looks like there is no mention of the word “online casino” throughout the site. The only thing close to alluding any online gambling is a section in their forum called “Microgaming Platform”, which is apparently all about Microgaming’s non-gaming applications.

But here is where things get concerning. Type in Sega or Sega Gaming in Google and you’ll find the PlaySega.com website on the first page of search results. Now, this isn’t the Sega Online Casino, per say, but you’ll notice their title and description tags are all about playing free online games. Give the site a visit and you’ll definitely find free SEGA video games to play. You’ll also see the second prominent link down on the main navigating menu, “Card and Casino” with links to Sega branded Blackjack, Texas Hold’em and all kinds of casino slots. If you ask me, that’s less than two degrees of separation.

Am I just being too nit-picky here, or should I have some legitimate concern? The online gambling industry has a major responsibility to prevent underage online gambling. Merging video games – and let’s not forget comic books – with online casinos may be inevitable, i.e., Microgaming’s Lara Croft tomb raider slot, Cryptologic’s marriage with comic book charaters, but is the industry doing enough to prevent leaky cross promotion and sloppy affiliate advertising?

Oh, and by the way, Sega Casino is powered by Playtech software and is licensed in Alderney. So, at least there’s some credentials. The online casino is not open to residents in the States.

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2 Responses to “SEGA Casino, A Trap for Underage Online Gamblers?”

  1. plays says:

    anyone currently have some reckon on when the up coming technology of xbox game units will be released?