Sexed up Gambling.As online gambling sites vie with each other to grab our attention in an ever-competitive marketplace, they strive to become evermore eye-catching and seductive. You may have noticed. In the early days the emphasis was on simplicity, navigability – ease of use. But as we become ever more Internet savvy and bored with the old formula, more and more eye-candy is required to keep our attention.
Many of today’s’ casinos are embellished with tantalizing glimpses of exotic locations and beautiful women; like so much of today’s media, they are image conscious and aspirational - “You’re one spin away from the life of luxury,“ they are telling us.
Beauty is a commodity and big money can afford it. Just look at Donald Trump. Online casinos have money to burn and can afford celebrity endorsers and so they are buying up beauty in bulk. 32Red.com has British actress, singer and all round knockout, Patsy Kensit. ParadisePoker.com has sizzling supermodel, Caprice. And of course, there’s Brooke Burke (voted tenth sexiest woman in the world by FHM) at Sportsbook.com. The beautification of gaming, therefore, also represents the mainstream acceptance of gaming, as mainstream icons join the fold.
Gaming is acquiring a sexy aesthetic, to varying degrees of subtlety. For instance, you have the HavanaClub.com, which quietly evokes the elegance of Havana’s glamorous heyday, with a sultry Hispanic hostess to welcome you with a giant cigar. Rather more brash and brazenly, you have playersonly.com – the lad’s magazine of sportsbooks – which bills itself as the ‘world’s sexiest sportsbook’ and offers its own free pin up calendars to customers.
Beauty may only be skin deep, but then again, so are some casinos, many of which use the same software with little more than the ‘skin’, image and the branding to separate them. Looks, therefore, become ever more important. A great deal of research is carried out and top web designers are hired to create an environment that will lure us in and, most importantly, make us stay. Will future generations hail the 32red.com website as a design classic, praising its bold use of color and aesthetic form? Probably not, but it’s a pretty place to be, so customers are likely to stay and play.
We live in a society increasingly obsessed with looks, and online gaming is no different. Sites are constantly relaunching and reinventing themselves; the average online casino more facelifts than Jackie Stallone and Zsa Zsa Gabor combined. The latest is to undergo the surgeon’s knife is the cosmetically enhanced acropoliscasinos.com from Playtech, and no attention to detail has been spared. It looks great.
Online casino games in general are becoming more and more elaborate, particularly the slots, decorated with all the bells n’ whistles, embroidered with elaborate designs and gimmicks. Browse Google and you’ll soon find intriguing titles like Sexy Slots, Showgirl Slots, Naughty Blackjack and, of course, Strip Poker. But where will this all end, we wonder? And is it good for our health? How much beauty can we take before our eyeballs melt and our hair falls out? Only time will tell. Naughty Blackjack anyone?