While many high school and college students are spending their summer days and weekends mowing lawns, babysitting, or working at their local fast food chain, a growing number of teens are spending hours a day at the computer playing online games…poker games that is.
Young talents such as Chris Benton, 19, are showing off their skills on online poker sites and earning much more then minimum wage. Benton, a Sonoma State University sophomore, claims he earns an average of $40 - $50 an hour, which is a far cry from his previous earnings, which he made while waiting tables.
While some young people still view online poker as just a means of entertainment, many are starting to see real money to be made using skill, psychology, talent, and patience. And many do not wish to be called “gamblers” as they are not using luck to make the win, but instead are using strategic thinking.
Due to the worries of possible addiction and financial struggles that could come with online gambling, the Federal law has a ban on U.S. based online gambling as it is not as easy to monitor who is behind the computer, as it is to identify an under age gambler at a land based casino.
Not only has the Federal law placed bans on U.S. based online gambling, but they have also forbid banks from transferring funds to gambling sites. But just as these young players have learned the ropes of poker, they have learned how to get around the system.
They simply do their gambling on offshore sites and purchase the popular debit gift cards such as MasterCard and Visa which can be used anywhere, including offshore online casinos and some small financial institutions that does business with them.
But still, teens like Benton insist he isn’t addicted and that if played properly, with a level head, you can earn much more then working in a restaurant and give yourself a good jump start in life. In fact, he has a four-year plan that involves saving a portion of his winnings to help launch his career in either Business or Casino Management.
Is this an ever-growing addiction problem among our young people or a savvy way to earn some extra money for college expenses? I guess time will tell as it seems that more and more teens are beginning their journey into online gambling.