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Online gambling has been a staple of internet gaming for decades. That, or a thorn in the side of regulators unequipped to hold operators to the standards of ever-changing legal parameters. A $52-billion industry (in 2023) that seemingly exists in the ether, Web3 communities are getting excited about the prospect of high-stakes virtual games.
But times have changed significantly since the poker boom of the early 2000s. While online gambling has been put through the wringer of the legal system, it has emerged on the other side as a robust, if not relatively niche, ecosystem. Yet, the days of internet casinos are changing still, and now, virtual gambling is happening on the blockchain and in the metaverse.
From virtual poker to skill game contests, the line between viability and legality for Web3 gambling seems quite thin. Considering the distrust created in the NFT space via scams and rug pulls, users are understandably apprehensive about engaging with any metaverse betting platforms. But is the skepticism truly warranted? Is there really so much at stake for those wanting to engage in metaverse gambling?The legality of online gambling
Before delving into the forms of NFT betting in the metaverse, it’s important to understand the legal status of online gambling in the United States. Without going too deep into the vast and odd history of the industry, in 2023, gambling regulation is both quite strict and varies state by state.
In turn, the Federal Wire Act also affects Web3. Because while in 2011, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that the Wire Act may only apply to sports betting, years later, in 2023, the Trump administration’s DOJ reversed the previous interpretation, saying that the law extends to all forms of cross-state gaming. This effectively threatened the legality of online lotteries, poker, etc, and left it to the discretion of the individual states to regulate.
But the Wire Act isn’t the only force restricting online gambling, since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) made it illegal to operate an online gambling website from U.S. soil. Yet, since operators of most online gambling sites moved overseas, their U.S-based users retained the ability to continue legally placing bets on said platforms from home, so the act gave leeway to users. While this offered more accessibility to online gamblers, the 2023 interpretation of the Wire Act restricted online gambling as a whole, meaning that even offshore casinos were off-limits to those in states with harsh regulations.
Currently, online gambling is only legal in seven U.S. states — Nevada, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. But there’s a bit of a catch: In Connecticut, online poker is illegal, and in Nevada, online casinos are illegal. Beyond that, each state differs in regulation of lotteries and sports betting, with some having introduced general gambling bills that await further review.
A map of the U.S. showing the states where online poker is legal and regulated. Source: USBets
Gambling in the conventional sense can be defined as the act of playing games of chance for money. Obviously, the money part is significant, since regulators are only on the lookout for games with stakes — like money, valuables, and assets (which could include crypto and NFTs, by some definitions). However, sometimes games of skill are also placed under the same umbrella as gambling, despite subtle differences.
Skill games are any game, contest, or amusement whose outcome is determined by the judgment, skill, dexterity, or physical ability of the participant, rather than by chance. Think of this distinction as the difference between a slot machine and poker. Slot machines present randomized pairings with varying chances of winning, while a poker win depends on the skill and knowledge of a player (and some chance).
While legal jargon and compartmentalization might seem unnecessary, it’s unavoidable, and part of the inherent framework of Web3 gambling. Truly, when looked at holistically, gambling is not all the same, with some forms differing significantly. But if broken down by part, we can answer the most pressing questions surrounding metaverse betting:
Who can engage in metaverse gambling? Anyone can engage in metaverse gambling, as long as there is no real monetary gain or loss at stake. This means anyone can play online casino games for fun, but only those in the aforementioned specific states can engage in online and metaverse gambling for money.
How does metaverse gambling work? Games of skill seem to be the only truly viable way to host metaverse gambling. Chance cannot be a significant factor. While skill games are considered more akin to contests rather than gambling, they often fall into the same category, culturally speaking.
Where does metaverse gambling happen? Read on to find out.The state of gambling in the metaverse
One of the most robust use cases for metaverse gambling may not actually be gambling, per se. More of a Web3 gameshow, Internet Game pits users against each other in a battle royale mini-game that nearly anyone can join. Built around the power of blockchain technology, the game allows NFT enthusiasts to compete in several online games for a chance to win prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At face value, some might consider the platform itself a gamble. After all, to participate in Internet Game, you must purchase a Game Token NFT, and the proceeds from the sale of Game Tokens are used, in part, to purchase the game prizes. But this doesn’t make the game a raffle or lottery — it’s more of a contest because prize winnings aren’t left up to chance. Instead, they’re up to your ability to succeed in skill games (there’s that term again). However, not all skill games are created equal, as Internet Game’s Co-Creator Jordan Lejuwaan knows well.
“If you have games that are too heavy on the skill side, like if they are 100 percent skill-based, then you will have players that absolutely dominate,” Lejuwaan said in an interview with nft now. “But you can’t have too much luck, because then it’s considered gambling. Internet Game only runs skill games. It’s a contest that doesn’t count as gambling because users are in control of their own destinies.”
An explanation of how Internet Game works.
For now, it seems that skill games are the only viable way to host metaverse gambling. But perhaps this isn’t gambling at all. Although the term “metaverse casinos” present the connotation of gambling, they often offer up skill games like poker, blackjack, and backgammon, rather than slots, roulette, dice, and other games of chance. So maybe metaverse gambling deserves to be its own term, separate from the traditional gambling definition.
But regardless, skill games labeled with buzzwords like “metaverse gambling” have begun to take off, with videos of users playing poker in the metaverse even going viral. Through platforms like Meta’s Pokerstars VR and Decentraland’s ICE Poker, users are finding a newfound love for online gambling. But there’s a catch: you can’t really make any money from metaverse poker, because poker and virtual casinos are so harshly regulated. Although ICE Poker does seem to somewhat skirt regulation by allowing users to earn game-native crypto tokens, which do actually have some blockchain value.
Yet, ICE Poker is more of a play-to-earn than it is metaverse gambling. While poker itself begs for a “gambling” label, accruing small profits through skill games over time is definite P2E. Of course, some would say that investing in a P2E project is, in and of itself, making a bet on that project to do well long term. But the argument stands that decentralized or Web3-leaning P2E gaming is simply a variation of the real-money gaming business model popularized by esports — with games like Axie Infinity supplanting League of Legends.Do Web3 and NFT gambling have a future?
Unless you reside in a country that has laxer gambling laws than the U.S., don’t expect to earn beaucoup bucks from metaverse casinos anytime soon. Unless those winnings are akin to Fortnite V-Bucks and can’t be cashed out for real money. Also, don’t expect to use a VPN to join offshore virtual casinos, because, while the prospect of earning untraceable coins is tantalizing, the U.S. requires that all NFT and crypto gains be reported as taxable income.
This is precisely why projects like Gambling Apes have country-specific blocking enabled on their landing pages, in hopes of deterring potentially illegal activity, if only by a degree.
Gambling Apes’ region blocker message. Source: GamblingApes
For now, it perusing metaverse casinos for fun seems the wisest path of action. That, or find a good skill game (like Internet Game) that operates within the scope of the law. After all, those aiming to capitalize on metaverse gambling without doing their due diligence are likely to get burned. This is exactly what happened with Slotie NFT, a metaverse casino that was accused of selling NFTs that violated securities laws.
Similar to crypto regulation at large, metaverse gambling feels like a “wait and see” scenario. Currently, it’s still relatively unclear how, if, and to what extent existing regulations apply to metaverse gaming, regardless of the interpretations we can derive from things like the Wire Act and UIGEA, so airing on the side of caution is likely a smart path for developers and users. Surely, if an entertainment-centric metaverse is to become sustainable, as Zuckerberg’s Meta undoubtedly hopes, regulators and Web3 communities should keep an eye on metaverse gambling.
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Business has not been “as usual” for the past few years now. The pandemic drastically changed the way many of us participate in our workplaces and has effectively reshaped the entire U.S. job market. The fact is, the vast majority of employees who can do their jobs from home are doing so. And in lew of face-to-face meetings, virtual offices are quickly gaining popularity.
But we’re not just talking about video calls and Zoom happy hours. Metaverse jobs are here – from software engineering roles to making sandwiches at a metaverse Subway. Even established, non-digitally native businesses are looking to become involved in the Web3 ecosystem and onboard their employees along the way.
The metaverse isn’t just a game anymore. Here’s why.
An example of a Horizon Workroom. Credit: MetaThe metaverse is more than NFTs and VR games
Right now, it seems like everyone is talking about the metaverse. The term skyrocketed in popularity last fall when Facebook changed its name to Meta. Since then, many have taken an interest in what the “metaverse” actually entails. Some are even finding it within their interests to secure a bit of virtual real estate.
The concept of the metaverse has been around for decades, but its recent resurgence is no random event. Just as blockchain tech (especially NFTs) has taken off over the past year, so too has the contemporary idea of living a fully digitized life.
Currently, the most established use-cases of metaverse technology are centered around either NFTs or gaming. Platforms like Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, and The Sandbox continue to incentivize users to build virtual dwellings, display and trade NFTs, and just generally engage in their gamified ecosystems.
Google’s Tilt Brush is a perfect example of how metaverse tech has helped expand the NFT ecosystem. Created to be a virtual version of a fully equipped painter’s studio, Tilt has become the livelihood of artists like Anna Zhilyaeva and Aimi Sekiguchi — who use the software to create immersive NFTs that often fetch a hefty sum.
We’ve even seen a multitude of NFT art galleries built in the metaverse, with Sotheby’s possibly taking the cake for the virtual version of their London headquarters. And institutions arent the only ones being incentivized to create galleries, as companies like OnCyber are making it easy for collectors of all levels to showcase their NFTs in the metaverse.
Sotheby’s Decentraland Gallery. Credit: Decentraland
But what is the real utility of blockchain-based gaming? Is that all there is to the metaverse? Of course not. While these games are fun (no seriously, go mess around on Decentraland, it’s great), the real incentive of entering the metaverse is that it opens up a new avenue for interpersonal connections.
With open-world metaverse games, we’re able to meet a wide variety of people from the comfort of our homes. And these interactions have evolved far past the days of chat rooms and Omegle. With platforms like VR Chat and Meta’s Horizon Worlds, users can come face-to-face with people from all over the world.
Thanks to the early adopters of these virtual technologies, and the developers that have iterated on them, non-digitally native businesses can easily get involved in the metaverse.Even your team could have meetings in the metaverse
It shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a market for enterprise-level solutions for organizational culture. I mean, we’ve all been begrudgingly hosting our meetings via Zoom or Google Meet since 2023. The need to improve upon these tools, and use technology to make remote work less isolating is evident.
Companies like Microsoft, Meta, and more are aiming to lead the pack when it comes to these solutions. Especially when it comes to taking aspects of the metaverse – open-world games, custom avatar creation, and VR capability – and adapting them for business
In the coming years, platforms like Meta’s Horizon Workrooms and Microsoft Mesh could make switching to a fully-remote work model more appealing to both employers and employees. Other companies aren’t far behind in their efforts to provide an alternative to the many developing Fortune 500 tech company-led solutions.
Rove, for one, is possibly one of the best business-focused metaverse platforms currently available. Aimed at expanding what’s possible in the metaverse, this new free-to-access metaverse project is providing use-cases that place importance on that aforementioned interpersonal connection.
With Rove, the metaverse can feel like a happy medium between fun and utilitarian. For artists wanting to create a 3D website/storefront for their products, users hoping to customize a virtual hangout space, and of course businesses looking for a more casual Web3 way to hold meetings, Rove has solutions.
The range of spaces users can create in Rove. Credit: Rove
Imagine, instead of staring at name cards and frozen screens in a 10+ person video meeting, your entire team can don their own custom avatars, show up to a lounge area and flip on a virtual projector for a presentation. In Rove, all of this is possible. Users can even dress the office walls with the latest NFTs they’ve picked up – no coding skills necessary.
This line between the corporate and casual metaverse may very well be the gateway for businesses to become interested in fostering a Web3 organizational culture. And it seems even the newer players entering into the metaverse race understand this: that the interactive and accessible components of the metaverse are likely its biggest selling points.
Functionality that inspires creativity and vice versa. This seems to be the goal of many metaverse companies, possibly best exemplified by vSpace — an extended reality platform that features 3D video conferencing with a sort of plug-and-play nature. With Twitch, Vimeo, and YouTube integration all in one, the business tool focused on interpersonal connection almost feels like a game.The metaverse is anything but static
With each passing month, facets of everyday life are being integrated into the metaverse. Use-cases are growing rapidly, and just as quickly as gaming led to businesses getting involved, so too will Microsoft, Meta, Rove and the like help open the doors to the next big iteration.
The metaverse should be for everyone. Sure, it can be confusing, but the metaverse is here and it doesn’t just have to be an individualized experience anymore.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see companies begin to incentivize their entire workforces to show up virtually for a full 40-hour workweek anytime soon (well…unless you’re ZOAN). But now, onboarding your team into the metaverse can be as easy as scheduling a meeting.
The good thing when you’re into the search engine business and you’re up against only two competitors is that you can do away with copying their site’s format. And it looks like, that’s just what the Live Search team is doing when they redesigned the Live Search site.
The Live Search blog highlighted the changes on their site with the following changes :
Search box near results The new Live Search header and search box is slimmed down from a heavy piece of UI into sleeker, simpler elements. Bringing the search box into alignment with the results and into the body moves it closer to where users are looking and flattens out the visual bumps between it and the results.
Room to breathe on the page Something else you’ll see on a large screen (lucky you!) is our centered, fixed-width page, allowing for a more thoughtful, predictable experience as richer search content and wider screens become the norm.
Crisp, clean type We’ve also made changes to our color and typography. Our decision to use Arial and the new color palette was based not only on our desire to improve readability and consistency, but also on rounds of testing to find the right combination.
Intuitive video search For our new video search experience, the team focused on activities and behaviors that make video search different. We focused on simplicity — cutting irrelevant pixels and text — and power — investing in enhanced preview for video — both of which contribute to the overall simple, yet powerful experience.
Health results integrated from many sources You’ll see in health search that we’ve created a way for users to pull together health information from many different sources, digestible all in one place.
This is how the new Live Search results page looks like with its new color palette and typography:
And this is how Google Search results page looks like:
They look more the same now, dont’ they? Although, I would have to admit, Live Search looks uncluttered and cleaner especially the heading part. But I still love Google search though, for the simple reason that it gives SEJ as the no. 8 result for the keywords “search engine news”. While Live Search displays it somewhere in the second page and it’s not even SEJ’s main URL.
Metaverse architect: These professionals will design and plan the layout and functionality of the metaverse, taking into account factors such as user experience, scalability, and security.
Metaverse developer: Similar to software developers, these individuals will create and maintain the underlying code and systems that power the metaverse.
Metaverse designer: These professionals will be responsible for creating the look and feel of the metaverse, including everything from the appearance of virtual spaces to the avatars that users will use to represent themselves.
Metaverse content creator: This could include a wide range of roles, such as 3D modelers, animators, and writers, who will create the various forms of media and experiences that will be available within the metaverse.
Metaverse community manager: These individuals will be responsible for managing and moderating online communities within the metaverse, ensuring that they are welcoming and safe for all users.
Metaverse customer support: As with any online platform, there will be a need for customer support personnel to help users with issues and answer their questions.
Metaverse entrepreneurs: The metaverse will provide a new platform for entrepreneurs to start businesses and offer services. These could include everything from virtual clothing stores to virtual event spaces.
But there’ll also be a great array of traditional roles that will migrate to the metaverse opening up incredible opportunities without the restraint of the physical world. Imagine a virtual reality-based ecosystem that includes job roles such as:
Metaverse therapist: As the metaverse becomes more realistic and immersive, it is possible that it could be used as a tool for therapy and rehabilitation. VR therapists would work with clients in virtual environments to help them overcome various mental and physical challenges that they’re dealing with in the real world.
Metaverse event planner: The metaverse could provide a new platform for hosting events, such as concerts, conferences, or trade shows. metaverse event planners would be responsible for organizing and coordinating these events, including booking venues, arranging logistics, and promoting the event.
Metaverse personal trainer: It may be possible for people to work with metaverse personal trainers to get in shape, either by participating in metaverse workouts or by using it to visualize and practice proper form for various exercises.
Metaverse language tutor: The metaverse could provide a new platform for language education, allowing people to immerse themselves in virtual environments where they can practice their language skills with native speakers. These language tutors would be responsible for designing and leading these language learning experiences as you might expect a traditional teacher to do so.
Metaverse interior designer: People may be able to use metaverse to design and visualize the interior of their homes or offices, and metaverse interior designers could help them to do so. These professionals would be responsible for creating 3D models of the spaces and assisting with the selection of furniture and other elements. These same individuals could help design interiors for buildings within the metaverse itself working with graphic and 3D designers.Key Takeaways
We’re some distance from metaverse jobs replacing traditional jobs, and the physical world isn’t going anywhere, but it’s exciting to think about what roles might exist related to the metaverse by 2030. That’s only 7 years away. Add 5 more years to that and we’re at the same point in time that “I, Robot” was set… let that sink in.
More and more roles will begin to appear related to the creation of the metaverse. These will appear first before traditional roles within the metaverse grow in popularity.
This will all happen faster than we can anticipate, with mass adoption happening faster than traditional uptake of new technologies.
Read more about Metaverse
Metaverse features are essential to know to boost productivity with cutting-edge technologies
Metaverse is attracting the current generation with multiple and lucrative features. It is well-known that the Metaverse is created with cutting-edge technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain, and many more. Tech investors and online players want to have a deep understanding of multiple features of Metaverse that can help them to invest time and money efficiently and effectively. Features help to interact with each other and digital assets with different avatars beyond the universe. There are vast possibilities and events that can potentially happen in the Metaverse in the upcoming years. Metaverse features can evolve rapidly with the dramatic rise in the demand for cryptocurrencies, NFTs, the online gaming industry, and many more additional elements. There are already some Metaverse trends depending on the following features that are thriving in the newly created digital world. The seamlessness of internet connection and the availability of smartphones have made the Metaverse the next iteration of the internet world in the nearby future. The following features are set to transform the experience of virtual solutions. Let’s explore some of the top Metaverse features that have escalated in recent times, driving the brand value of Metaverse in this global tech market.
Key infrastructure is one of the top features of Metaverse including the cutting-edge and the connectivity technologies. The connectivity technologies include the highest level of internet connection such as 5G, cloud computing, IoT, and so on. This is just the beginning of the Metaverse expansion, taking over the global tech market. It offers ultra-low latency, super-fast speed, and increased capacity as its key infrastructures for the players in this digital world.
Digital avatars are flourishing in the Metaverse as a very important feature to attract investors and players from across the world. Global users can make their own digital avatars to interact with other people present in the digital world. These AI avatars can interact with multiple emotions, feelings, personalized characteristics, and so on. It can be a digital replica of one’s role model, superhero, animal, and many more options to choose from. It tends to provide a revolutionary experience to interact with other players efficiently without any external meeting.
One of the top features of Metaverse is decentralization with the integration of blockchain technology. It is gaining popularity for being the openly shared digital world to move from one platform to another without any issue. Decentralization helps users to trade and exchange digital assets with economic value without having any presence of central authority. It takes a very short period of time to provide the freedom to do anything they want in this Metaverse ecosystem.
One notable and crucial Metaverse feature is its security which protects from potential cyberattacks and crypto criminals. There is a dramatic rise in cyberattacks from multiple groups of cybercriminals on the dark web. They always tend to seek weak links to steal all kinds of digital assets with ransomware and malware. Thus, Metaverse is set to provide additional focus on cybersecurity in the form of ethical and privacy standards. If there is better and improved cybersecurity, more players and viewers will get attracted to the new ecosystem with user protection and user identities.
That being said, there are more features of Metaverse and additional new ones will come to surprise the users. Multiple hi-tech companies are focused on bringing new innovations and products for enjoying the newly grown Metaverse ecosystem in the nearby future.
Crypto and Web3 startups have already—in the six months of 2023—raised more than US$1 billion in funding across 43 deals.
The web3 community in India has risen significantly in response to the desire to bring Cryptocurrencies into the mainstream last year. India has an inflow of developers interested in establishing a wide range of decentralized services, which is among the intriguing array of projects involving Cryptocurrency and other connected sectors. These initiatives piqued the general public’s interest in 2023, but this year might be the year of stabilization. As the markets face turbulence, investor perception over Web3 investments tends to be lukewarm, with most becoming skeptical about their ability to weather the crisis. In the case of Bitcoin, for example, some thought it was doing well as it reached an all-time high while the crypto market, in general, shrank from US$3 trillion in November 2023 to US$1 trillion as we begin the second half of 2023.
Crypto and Web3 startups have already—in the six months of 2023—raised more than US$1 billion in funding across 43 deals. In 2023, by comparison, the space attracted US$536 million across 39 deals, according to data provider Venture Intelligence. Top deals include Polygon’s US$450 million fundraise by SoftBank, Tiger Global, and Sequoia India in February, cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX’s US$136 million fundraise in April, and treasury management platform Coinshift’s US$15 million fund raise in May, even as TerraUSD, the so-called stable coin which promised to match the value of the US dollar, collapsed, wiping out investors of more than US$40 billion.
Considering everything, experts believe that it is high time investors to think about putting their hard-earned cash into Web3 startups because these startups are the future.Top 7 Web3 startups that are making a revolution in 2023 Vayupankh
This firm was established in 2023 with its headquarters in Chattisgarh. The Bengaluru-based company chúng tôi provides a technological platform that lets companies create their own chains, build NFT markets, and generate tokens and swaps to utilize with their other systems. Dapps for gaming will be available on the platform soon.Polygon
2023 has been an incredible year for Polygon, India’s largest Cryptocurrency, and blockchain venture. Polygon was founded by Indian businessmen Sandeep Nailwal, Jayanti Kanani, and Anurag Arjun. It is based on Ethereum blockchain technology but seeks to address various fundamental concerns. The blockchain technology and architecture enable developers to create decentralized apps and services on it by utilizing Ethereum, which eliminates the high fees and transaction delays associated with the latter.StaTwig
It was established in 2023 and is based in Hyderabad. StaTwig helps companies combat supply chain problems, such as forgery, black-marketing, and excess inventory, by tracking the movement of every product in the supply chain during its travel. Sid Chakravarthy started this company, which has collaborated with AWS, Tech Mahindra, Twilio, Intel, and UNICEF. Its core product is a VaccineLedger, which assists numerous health agencies with the Covid-19 vaccinations.Biconomy
Biconomy, which provides a cross-chain transaction protocol, was invented by Ankit Jindal, Ahmed Al-Balaghi, and Sachin Tomar. The latter functions over many blockchains, with the ultimate objective of providing a simple API for services to incorporate a decentralized payment gateway. Biconomy’s goal is to make blockchain-based payments accessible to the general public. It secured $9 million in investment last year in anticipation of the debut of its native token, Bico.PredictRAM
It was established in 2023 and is headquartered in Delhi, NCR. DeFi technology called PredictRAM manages risk using a blockchain-based artificial platform. The firm tokenizes customers’ IT assets and develops artificial tokens that enable decentralized derivatives’ creation, configuration, and trading.3bewte
It was established in 2023 and is headquartered in Bengaluru. In 3bewte, users can create communities to form a decentralized, autonomous community built on web3 technology. The firm, founded by Krishna K V and Vighnesh Velayudhan, allows users to create their own communities and earn $BEW, the startup’s token, for follower involvement. Customers may then utilize the $BEW to make in-platform transactions.KoineArth
MG Motors India, a Chinese-owned British vehicle company, partnered with KoineArth, an Indian platform aiming for organizations with web3 services, in 2023 to make it more popular. The latter collaborated with KoineArth to provide consumers with a decentralized driving data platform via blockchain. This data, which may only be transmitted with the user’s express agreement, can subsequently be used to aid launch insurance claims and other duties.More Trending Stories
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