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Virgin & World Gaming Venture into Online Video Gaming Tournament Play

17 June 2010 by Devon Chappell

Richard Branson demands stewardess crew receive more training

Richard Branson demands stewardess crew receive more hands-on training

Most people have heard of Richard Branson. And most online gamblers who are familiar with Virgin Casino, know it’s the same virgin that, well…belongs to Richard Branson. With the Virgin empire being what it is – an empire – offering everything from music CD’s to airline tickets, it would be no huge surprise if Branson himself was never involved in the affairs of any one or several of Virgin’s business divisions. That’s what the company execs get paid for, is it not? Besides, some of Virgin’s business divisions are actually owned by other companies to which Branson licenses his brand to!

And while the Richard Branson image has not (nor probably will not) ever become the placemat for Virgin Online Casino, Branson is certainly not sequestered from his company’s online gambling activities. That’s right, Branson is actually Virgin Casino’s most prized high roller. Some say he blows an easy million in a week. Well, so maybe he’s not doing the gambling himself. Yet, Richard Branson the billionaire is, nonetheless, giving away $1 million.

As revealed in an announcement at the E3 trade show earlier this week, Branson’s Virgin Gaming, along with the Canadian-based WorldGaming.com, will be dolling out $1 million in prize money over the next year as part of a joint venture that has Virgin getting back into video games.

Branson himself, is quoted as saying, “Video games are bigger than ever…There’s never been a better time to get back in.” And even though Branson admits that the video gaming industry is highly “competitive and overcrowded”, the visionary billionaire says they see a big opportunity.

And it’s not that Branson doesn’t know jack about video gaming. Virgin’s original venture into the industry back in 1981 resulted in a hugely successful game publishing label called Virgin Interactive, which was later sold to the well-known Electronic Arts in 1998.

Richard Branson at his best in none other than the Las Vegas Belagio fountain

Richard Branson at his best in none other than the Las Vegas Bellagio fountain

Now, however, Branson say’s Virgin Gaming and World Winner are taking a different term. Bridging the world of online gambling with video gaming, Branson may very well be tapping into the next big thing behind online poker. Video gaming tournaments, in which players compete against one another at games like “Halo 3” and “NCAA Football”, is no doubt growing in popularity.

Although playing for money is not a new idea (WorldWinner and a handful of other sites are pulling it off), Branson’s tournament structure is more like that of an online casino or poker room. The Virgin Gaming World Winner business model, if you will, sees the website charging a 12% fee on every online video gaming tournament, which participants will pay a modest tournament entry fee to compete in. Those players who make the leaderboard will then receive their cash prize, but not before that 12% cut.

Heck, with $1 million up for grabs in free cash over the next year, including weekend trips on Branson’s private island, I don’t think 12% is too much to ask for.

For more information about Virgin Gaming and their flagship online casino, please read the OCS Virgin Casino Review.

One Response to “Virgin & World Gaming Venture into Online Video Gaming Tournament Play”

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