A hidden battle. That is what some are describing the notion put forth to Sulake against casinos and dating rooms. Illegal is a word used by some to describe such rooms. However, Sulake may be turning a blind eye to certain laws.
Casinos are of course sometimes considered as ‘encouraging’ underage gambling and some say this is not only illegal, but could have a great implications in the teen’s future. Moreover, it does go against laws in some countries such as Singapore which strictly prohibits any kind of gambling, even on such online sites. This is crucial seeing as hypothetically Sulake still caters for a Singaporean audience. Furthermore, a lot of the dating rooms such as Kissing Booths etc. have been known to contain sexual encounters. There have been a small number of complaints and sometimes the situation becomes severe and such rooms are locked by a moderator.
However, Sulake does not seem to acknowledge the problem, with CEO Paul Lafontaine echoing the safety of Habbos on the hotel in a recent interview, “We moderate all chat; we’ve been recognized by the EU for having one of the safer sites for teens. Safety is a passion of ours and we’re very focused on that. If we can provide a safe, moderated environment where teens spend, and we open that up, we can take advantage of a lot of creative force.” Such moderation is set to ensure that Habbo is a safe teenage-friendly environment. Though, it fails to acknowledge that the gambling issue is mutually exclusive from any sort of moderation and that things within the sphere of moderation do fall through the net such as recent cases of older men luring in younger teen girls to go on webcam for them, as well as the random bans that seemed to have happened for no reason whatsoever. So the question here lies within the ‘claimed’ improvement of moderation and if it really is any better and could protect us from such hazardous (in the online sense) situations.
So, you may now be asking whether there will be any immediate implications in the long run. The answer to the question is a simple no, as the movement is simply too small and often much too ignored to make any impact on the company’s policies for such rooms. Sulake would be foolish to destroy such well established institutions such as casinos and dating rooms. However, a time may come where it will simply have no choice. If you would like to share your view on these issues, hit ‘read more’ and comment!
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