Converting real money to virtual money to bet on chess games online
I would like to share with you another online chess website www.chesscube.com that looks awesome in design. I played a few games again today on that site and picked up a few interesting things. When I logged in, a corner of the page indicates the number of players online, which was around 4500 - not a bad number, I think.
They are actually betting on games using paypal to convert hard money to their virtual currency, the cubits and crowns. A cubit is worth one cent and a crown is ten cents. I saw a bet for 2000 cubits or $20, but most are just small/friendly bets in 20 to 300 cubits. One catch however is that you cannot cash back the cubits. Only the crowns are cashable, but the problem is crowns cannot be wagered. I registered and received a bonus of 20 cubits, which I was able to use, and it grew. The site earns 20 percent of the bets (e.g., if you wager 10, you will only receive 8).
Since my accumulated cubits cannot be converted to cash, contrary to my first impression, it seems that it is not a real gambling afterall - a virtual gambling probaby (?), but that is just a "virtual terminology" I just invented. They would stay as cubits that can be used as entry fees for tournaments, premium membership fees, or use to rent videos or buy lessons they have. That's a "brilliancy" move! It appears that a new economic concept or a new business model is emerging.
I'm not sure how they monitor cheaters but so far I have not yet encountered a software. I felt I was cheated though when I accepted a 200-cubit bet for a 10/1 game. After only making four moves, the computer declared me lost on time - only then I realized that the game was for 10 sec initial time (not 10 min) plus one sec per move. Well, at least I learned and I consider that as just a matriculation fee.
My elder brother will probably like that site. Here's another picture I snipped from my desktop.