Should video gamers be allowed to bet real money on their gaming skills (or lack thereof)?
BringIt says that the service it provides is not a form of gambling because its outcomes are based on skill, not chance. From the AP report:
It’s free to sign up, provided you are at least 18. The site makes money by taking a 10 percent cut from people’s wagers and a $4 fee from winners when they withdraw their loot.
Founder and CEO Woody Levin, 30, said most of the players on BringIt play for small amounts of money, $5 or $10…
BringIt supports the PlayStation 2, the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii. Players challenge each other on the site, but play on their consoles. BringIt holds players’ entry fees until the game is finished. After the game is done, it verifies the results and credits the winner, minus the service fee.
Arizona is one of 11 states in which BringIt is illegal, but the Phoenix New Times suggests – with tongue in cheek – that it could be a potential source of tax revenue:
Who knows? Maybe Levin and BringIt will someday steer as much money toward Arizona politicians as the racing industry does, and then Arizona video nuts can clean out each other’s bank accounts — with the state taking its cut, natch.
ESPN The Magazine has an in-depth interview with BringIt’s Levin, who mentions that bets can be as high as $100,000.