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China Alleged To Use Prisoners In Lucrative Internet Gaming

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the farm-for-freedom dept.

China 313

SoyQueSoy pointed out an article that reveals it's not all fun, but forced games for some Chinese prisoners. It is alleged that after a day of hard labor some inmates are forced to work through the night as gold farmers. "Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labor," [prisoner] Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."

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313 comments

Seriously (1, Troll)

mms3k (2192016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36245952)

China? The article talks about prison bosses, not the Chinese government in general. And frankly, I would seriously choose farming gold in World of Warcraft over the hard labor on mines. Just clicking away seems like a breeze compared to that.

American "researchers" crying over this is quite stupid anyway. Having lived long periods in different Asian countries, the 12 hour working day is not unusual at all. It's the norm. I had a ladyboy girlfriend who worked at clothing store and her day started at 8am and lasted until 8pm. Still the pay wasn't that good, but it's nowhere. Especially not working in the farms. Farming virtual gold is actually one of the things that pay really well. So unless you want to help increase the total wealth and income in the countries, there's nothing to do about it. The people are seriously hard working tho, and if they choose to farm gold as job, it's their decision and they do it because they get paid well.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246010)

I keep reading 'ladybug' in every one of your posts. It's because the word shapes are so similar!

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246020)

lol. did you introduce her by saying "hi, my names mms3k, and this is my ladyboy girlfriend ________

Re:Seriously (2)

rax313 (1923570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246022)

They were made to do it at night AFTER a day of hard labor.

Re:Seriously (2)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246734)


They were made to do it at night AFTER a day of hard labor.

Oh, come on. Making iPads isn't that hard.

just give them a kick back and they will look the (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246034)

just give them a kick back and they will look the other way.

Re:Seriously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246046)

American researchers cry over this because we're well into our third generation of Americans that can get away without having to lift a finger in their entire life. So much to the point that many honest working (read: tax paying) people can't live as well as welfare whores who feel entitled to getting whatever they want simply because they live. This style of life is ingrained into the psyche of entire families as a given at this point. Being asked to contribute to the human race is akin to asking these people to slit their own throats.
 
The idea of forcing anyone to do anything productive regardless of what kind of shit they did to their fellow human is barbaric to certain types of idiots.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246206)

Right because working for nothing or with no breaks for half-day shifts is never cruel. And if you think welfare (which actually refers to many programs) is so great, maybe you should go on it. I'd love to see how long you'd last on $200 a month (for no kids or medical situations, not elderly and zero income and no unemployment).

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246258)

No one said anyone had to work half a day with no breaks. We're talking about doing more than sitting on your ass. And unless you can cite your source that it's 200 dollars and nothing more I call bullshit because I know plenty of able bodied turds that are living on welfare and there is no way 200 covers the rent and the food. So you're a fucking retard and a liar.

Re:Seriously (1)

228e2 (934443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246570)

Unemployment is about 30% of what you made the past year.
For some, its $200. For others, more or less. But the point is, making 30% of what you used to make (and not always right away, there may be gaps where you get no money) is hard to live on if you earn say . . . the average american paycheck.

Source: being unemployed for 7 months, and only receiving unemployment for 6 months.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246622)

Here is your source: Benefit estimator [state.tx.us] If you plug in the info I gave you, you get:

Based on the following information:

Number in household: 1
            Amount Result
Monthly Net Income $0 Within limits
Assets $0 Within limits
Federal Gross Income $0 Within limits

The estimated monthly SNAP benefit for your income and household size is $200.

Re:Seriously (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246618)

Really? Where do you live? Just about every grown up I know is working hard, sometimes 2 or 3 jobs. People with graduate degrees are busing tables, college graduates are working retail, people who used to make easy money are taking what they can get.

Re:Seriously (3, Insightful)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246068)

I guess you missed the part about them being forced to gold mine all night after a long day of hard labor. Are people skipping the summary now too?

Re:Seriously (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246246)

I guess you missed the part about them being forced to gold mine all night after a long day of hard labor. Are people skipping the summary now too?

No, just ignoring the parts that make no sense whatsoever.

If I have you as a slave, and you can make me $100/12hrs doing manual labor or $500/12hrs goldfarming... Do you seriously think I'd waste half your income-generating day having you fill potholes?

The "after" makes no sense when they could farm gold for both shifts and make their jailers 66% ($600 vs $1000) more per day.

Re:Seriously (4, Insightful)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246280)

They still have to answer to their superiors when China's projects are not being completed with slave labor.

Re:Seriously (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246546)

How about hiring people on the side to fill potholes who weren't smart enough to get into Apple's Foxconn iPod factories? $500-$100=$400.

Re:Seriously (1)

captain_sweatpants (1997280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246438)

You're assuming they have a 1:1 ratio of slaves (inmates) to computers. A 1:2 ratio or more would be optimised with half/labour half farming days. Also, there's nothing anyone outside China can do about the labour, but the forced farming should be stopped if possible.

Re:Seriously (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246808)

What makes you think the guards are sharing anything with the state? The guards could just be keeping the gold money for themselves,which would go a long way towards explaining why they are doing both hard labor AND gold farming, the labor is what is required by the state, the gold farming profits all go to the guards. If the state was really making more money off of farming they would probably have more people skip the labor and just do farming, esp. ones that were good at it.

Re:Seriously (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246102)

In a country where you can be jailed for bitching to the government, do you really think that the bosses of the prisons are at all independent of the power structure?

And the fact that exploitation of human desperation is common does not make it right, in or out of prison. China's brand of socialism is bullshit. It's plain fascism, where workers are cattle and the government gets all the value they add.

Re:Seriously (5, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246496)

It's plain fascism, where workers are cattle...

Well, you wouldn't have 'Everyday Low Prices' without it..

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246752)

America, fuck yeah!

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246322)

Had to google ladyboy girlfriend as I wasn't sure it was what I thought it was.. and sure enough it *is* what I thought it was... no thanks :)

Re:Seriously (5, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246458)

Just clicking away seems like a breeze compared to that.

Lets see what the article says...
"If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things,"

Yea, sounds super easy.

Re:Seriously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246648)

A "ladyboy" isn't a "her", no matter how much you want it to be so. It's a dude. You slept with a dude. With a cock.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246766)

Why do you talk about ladyboys on every single post you make? If you like crossdressers just keep it to yourself. Get out of the closet.

And it's not a "girlfriend".

It's your boyfriend.

I would have volunteered (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36245988)

"Rather than dig dirt and break rocks, how about I play games 16 hours a day? You'll make more money that way."

The horror (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36245996)

Really, someone forced inmates to play video games? Oh the humanity

Oh, the horror.... (-1, Troll)

scififan (2199644) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246032)

There are dozens of Chinese gold farmers [thoughts.com] , that paid almost nothing and play these games all day, and its not interesting to repeat the same thing every day. For inmates actually is a good thing.

Re:Oh, the horror.... (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246056)

Not if one part of your workday consists out of 12hr shifts,swinging a pickaxe at rocks... RTFA! The guardian has the story.

Re:Oh, the horror.... (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246064)

^^^

Danger, goatse

Re:Oh, the horror.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246090)

WARNING: Don't click on the parent's link! Damn goatse! The first I experienced, no less.

Re:Oh, the horror.... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246758)


Welcome to Slashdot -1. I'm grub, your tour guide.

Re:Oh, the horror.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246096)

Parent is link to goatse.

Re:Oh, the horror.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246112)

I hate your guts.

News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246054)

Prisoners in a Chinese work camp not allowed to share in on profits.

lizard skinned flesh lights (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246076)

how many active fleshlights does it take to power a lightbulb?

Re:lizard skinned flesh lights (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246110)

Please do enlighten me your great AC-ness.

One of these guys (2)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246118)

Is going to know the master character's password, dig a tunnel through the sewage, and get the warden arrested!

5000-6000 rmb a day (2)

prakslash (681585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246140)

5000-6000 rmb a day =~ $850 a day!

I am in the wrong business! If this is exploitation, chain me to the PC!

On second thoughts though, that number is probably not a "per prisoner earning".

US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246146)

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/may2000/pris-m08.shtml

"There are presently 80,000 inmates in the US employed in commercial activity, some earning as little as 21 cents an hour."

"In addition, during the last 20 years more than 30 states have passed laws permitting the use of convict labor by commercial enterprises. These programs now exist in 36 states."

"Prisoners who refuse to work under these conditions are labeled “uncooperative” and risk losing time off for “good behavior,” as well as privileges such as library access and recreation."

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (3, Insightful)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246186)

This is the ultimate sad truth, that white america (hey that's me!) allows the laws of this country and the will of racism to subjugate and enslave people, NO DAMN DIFFERENT THEN ANY SAVAGE ERA.

I've seen the dark side of this, and let me tell you, arm chair nerd reading this, that YOU are guilty of supporting slavery. YOU are complicit in the wonton inhumane and completely barbaric treatment of beings as human as you..

and you'll make some joke about how its "PMITA" prison and say it could never happen to you.

How wrong, how totally and sadly wrong, you are.

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (0, Flamebait)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246370)

I'm much happier thinking some rapist, pedophile, or insider trader (oh wait, they're too rich for jail...) was worked to death for my materialism than I was thinking some hard working average guy in China worked a year of 18 hour shifts.

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (4, Insightful)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246454)

but they are NOT some rapist, some pedophile. See how programmed you are. It's people just like you, when the cops want to meet their quota, when they don't like you, when they just had a bay day. There are TENS of THOUSANDS of people better then you in jail, dude, believe it. But keep it up thinking everyone in jail deserves it. When it's your turn, you can tell it to yourself at night when your starving.

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (0)

Klasanov (1980174) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246620)

Most people in jail do deserve their lot, sorry. No sympathy here for the system. It's not perfect but that doesn't mean we're enslaving innocent people just because.

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246708)

maybe we should just let all the people who dont deserve to be in jail out...will everybody who doesn't deserve to be here please raise your hand

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246876)

Just because someone is in prison doesn't mean they should be slaves. Forget the obvious ramifications and simply focus on the most obvious, the person falsely accused.

Case in point: Both wife and I were jailed and prosecuted for something we didn't do. Everything eventually came out, full confession by the instigator, and we were cleared, but sadly we're not alone. This country does not, and has not for quite some time, follow the "innocent until proven guilty" method. Quite the opposite, in fact. Get accused of something sometime and let me know how everything works out for you.

In the meantime, forced labor is forced labor. You can call it what you want, but I was subjected to slave labor conditions in the past and due to my refusal to participate, I was branded uncooperative and spent every day of my sentence. And for the record, I didn't do that one either. And yes, again there was proof.

Should we have been used for slave labor? I think not.

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246604)

This is the ultimate sad truth, that white america (hey that's me!) allows the laws of this country and the will of racism to subjugate and enslave people, NO DAMN DIFFERENT THEN ANY SAVAGE ERA.

I've seen the dark side of this, and let me tell you, arm chair nerd reading this, that YOU are guilty of supporting slavery. YOU are complicit in the wonton inhumane and completely barbaric treatment of beings as human as you..

and you'll make some joke about how its "PMITA" prison and say it could never happen to you.

How wrong, how totally and sadly wrong, you are.

White America? WTF......
There's people with white skin in jail also.
Not all whitish coloured people are evil, just about the same percentage as blackish coloured people are.
You can't make something a persons fault if they had no involvement in committing it, it's not their job to fix others screw ups.. Thats fucking ridiculous.
Blaming anyone that's... apparently the same colour as you for the worlds problems means one thing: you're one fucked up mother fucker.

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (4, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246230)

That has been deemed fine, as the powers that be decided that only hard labour is cruel. Sewing for a few dollars a day is apparently fine. My real problem with it is the loaning to commercial enterprise, seems like a conflict of interest for a few parties involved, which can lead to, yeah, you know... If it's truly voluntary and not benefiting to private outfits I think it's fair enough. or if working for private enterprise, the outfit they are contracting for pays market wage, and it goes to a charity if they don't want the prisoners to collect. That way there is no advantage for the outfit, no kickback to the prison, etc.

Wouldn't mind seeing hard labour come back for violent offences myself, at least for recidivists. Some folks you just can't reach and all that.

Re:US employs 80,000 prisoners for labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246740)

I've known people who have been imprisoned. The prisons they were at had in-prison work. However, far from being mandatory, work was considered a privilege. If you misbehaved, you could not work. Work offered a lot of benefits: 1) something to do in a very boring place, 2) ability to earn wages [of any kind], and 3) the ability to begin learning a trade skill.

It's not all ditch digging and mirrored sunglasses and "wiping it off, boss".

Anybody seen people doing the Master Cylinder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246152)

We'll know this is really a problem when we see WoW characters doing the Master Cylinder dance. ;)

Re:Anybody seen people doing the Master Cylinder? (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246354)

"He says he has a car in China..."

In Soviet Russia (1)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246154)

Landmines are green. No inferior capitalist, bourgeois, GOLD landmines in worker paradise.

Some people never learn (5, Funny)

lucm (889690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246182)

So that former prison guard is in jail for being a whistleblower, and now he is whistleblowing again. Tsk tsk.

Re:Some people never learn (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246252)

I thought you were kidding but then I read the article...

Re:Some people never learn (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246712)

Five'll get you ten that he's going to be doing time at the high stakes table for that.

Strange. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246200)

The is not the sunny picture of gold farming entrepreneurs that a certain recent novel has led us to believe...

Prison Income scheme (2)

VocationalZero (1306233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246212)

I suppose this is at least a step up from organ harvesting. If the prison bosses give kickbacks to the party, which seems likely, its not a huge leap in logic to think that the state may begin to arrest "undesirables" for the sole purpose of earning an income, unless of course the operating costs outweigh the income (IANAPB).

Either way China is going to torture you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246216)

So if your addicted to the Internet China tortures you, and if you're a prisoner in China they use the Internet to torture you.

WoWoWoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246282)

I'm opening a ticket as I type this.

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246332)

We should do this in America as well, especially with gang-banger scum. If they are forced to play video games 14 hours a day, the ACLU can't say they are working under unreasonable hard labor conditions. The money they make can go to a fund to pay victims of their crimes, they won't have any time to continue the work of being the losers that they are, making new contacts, continuing gang activities in prison, etc, and for once will provide a positive benefit to society.

Where's the down side?

A variant of this happens in Nevada (4, Interesting)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246346)

This is according to a friend of mine who used to tend bar at a Reno casino. I don't know how much has changed since then; maybe a local can tell us more. Slot machines in Nevada are regulated and required to pay out a certain percentage over time. This means that the longer one type of slot at a casino doesn't pay out, the higher the odds are that they will soon. Once a casino got to the point where a payoff was probable, a bus would pull up full of compulsive gamblers, all wearing the same windbreakers. They'd sit at every machine in the casino and play until someone hit the jackpot. These people were not allowed to keep their winnings (or not much of them), but their habit was paid for.

Since they never tipped, the bartenders hated them. Whenever they saw the bus pull up, they'd place drinks at the slots to reserve the spots.

Anyway, wherever there is money you will find corruption. Rule of law (applied equably), transparency, and cultural values are all that mitigate this. The only reason this doesn't happen in American for-profit prisons is that the money isn't good enough, yet. But the dollar continue to drop. Your kids might gold-farm for the Chinese.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246386)

what

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246470)

best post ever

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246406)

Your friend is full of it. Poker machines are random. They are no more likely to pay out next time than last time. Even is someone was stupid enough to operate such a scheme, it is unsustainable and they would go broke in the long term. The longer you play a poker machine, the closer your chances of losing money approach 100%.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246468)

False, false, false, false, true.

Thank you, come again!

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (3, Insightful)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246460)

Your friend is full of shit, slot machines pay out consistently over time due to math. It could literally jackpot 10 times in a row or never in the machines lifetime, it's just freakishly unlikely.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (3, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246510)

Actually, no. If a machine hits jackpot twice even like that, they would yank the machine from the floor.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (1)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246666)

Well, yes, i suppose it would be prevented from happening because they might yank it, but not due to any of its internal programming.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246580)

This is just plain incorrect. I know people who work in programming slot machines. They're all connected to a massive ethernet network, and a central server network determines when a win is "due". There is, of course, a lot of randomness involved, but if the same machine jackpotted twice in a row, there would be a serious investigation as to why.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (1)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246694)

It may well be rolling a die on a central server, but I guarantee you that server doesn't have logic like, "if machine #2222 wins, don't pay out to #2222 (or anybody) again for x spins". It would be super illegal.

And you're right, in the hypothetical freak scenario where a machine jackpots twice or 3 times in a row, they will investigate it, much like I"m sure they'd investigate a guy who won the lottery jackpot back to back, legitimately, even if he was truly just lucky enough to win a 1 in quadrillions sort of shot. My point is that the machines aren't programmed to prevent it, that would be illegal.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246494)

This doesn't make sense. If the house is paying less to them than they'd get from them when they gamble normally, the gamblers would gamble instead. If the house is paying more, it's losing money on the deal.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246532)

This means that the longer one type of slot at a casino doesn't pay out, the higher the odds are that they will soon.

It is for exactly this lack of comprehension of odds that the casinos put up the "recent numbers" boards at the roulette tables, and people bet based on what numbers or colors haven't shown up for a while.

Casinos make money when you gamble stupidly.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246642)

Sure, for roulette, but slot machines are PROGRAMMED. They are purposely programmed to pay out a certain percentage of the time. You ever notice how many "near misses" the machines give out? They do that on purpose. Roulette, blackjack, powerball, etc are actually random. Scratch tickets and video slot machines are not random, they are programmed to look random. Machines can glitch, and you can effect the odds of it glitching under certain conditions. That couldn't happen if they were actually random.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246654)

And I can sell you an exclusive deal on the brooklin bridge and the eifel tower scrap metal...

Anybody understanding the real math of gambling machines would know that it does not work that way...

And any half smart casino owner knows that it makes more money for him (or her) to pay out the jackpot and make some publicity around it than to try to get it through the backdor.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246658)

You call betting on red when it's hit black ten times in a row stupid? Yeah, me too..bet on black again!

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246810)

Except with roulette, someone who spins the wheel and ball with a fairly consistent amount of force can actually get the ball to land on a specific section of the wheel slightly more often than chance, so there's some slight merit to betting on what's come up recently (usually not enough to beat the house edge due to the 0's and 00's though). With a slot machine, the only thing that might make sense is on one with a progressive jackpot, if it gets high enough due to random chance, there would be a slightly better than even return expected. So if a casino had a progressive machine that was limited by connection to maybe 2 dozen other ones, it would be possible for the tour bus scenario to work, but highly unlikely.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246636)

I always wonder why these types of slots don't work on a purely random basis. Yes, there's variance to consider, but over time (even if the advantage is 0.1% or less), the tide will always go to the weighted side (just like a roulette wheel).

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (1)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246704)

They do, the original poster is just full of shit.

A variant of this happens in Bellevue, WA (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246646)

We have a mall with a lottery ticket booth. On occasion we get a whole crew of people (old, immigrants, hobo-looking) playing large volumes of scratch tickets. The mob boss (big fat guy in a cowboy hat) sits nearby, keeping an eye on his people.

It's a money laundering operation. It doesn't have to pay back 100 cents on the dollar. It just has to be competitive with other methods of converting 'dirty' cash into clean.

One thing that makes the entire operation pretty obvious: There's a food court, Starbucks and whatnot there. In any other setting, that would be a magnet for the local cops. But not here. If they've got business in the mall, they go in quickly, take care of it and get out. Fast. Evidently, there's an agreement for them to stay out.

Re:A variant of this happens in Bellevue, WA (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246710)

If it's a state run lottery then the bad guys are effectively paying taxes to launder their money. This may be a factor in allowing them to continue (nothing like paying a sin tax so you can sin).

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246736)

You missed several key points in your friend's story. There are progressive slot machines where the jackpot keeps going up based on the amount of play. If the jackpot has not been hit in a long time it is possible that the jackpot amount is enough that the odds of hitting the jackpot are in the players favor. It it costs you $1 to play and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 100, then as soon as the jackpot goes over $100 the odds of you hitting the jackpot before you spend more than the jackpot are in your favor. When there is an entire bank of slot machines hooked up to a single progressive jackpot and the jackpot is in the players favor, professional slot players will form a team and play the entire bank of slot machines. Usually there is a banker who finances the players. The players usually get an hourly wage and a bonus if they hit the jackpot with the rest of the money going to the person who bankrolls the operation.

Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246746)

Somebody failed statistics/probability 101

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What's missing from this article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246382)

How much gold they are pulling in...

Everything's online these days! (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246400)

So basically, they're mining digital blood diamonds? I guess everything really is available online these days!

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246418)

No tron comments yet?

FARMING for gold? How 2008ish! (3, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246446)

Any minute now we'll get the BitCoin tie-in for this article.

Any minute now...
I'm waiting for it.

Re:FARMING for gold? How 2008ish! (1)

mythandros (973986) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246614)

You must be immune to irony.

well, they ARE prisoners (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246486)

I can think of worse things that prisoners could be forced to do. Heck, even stamping license plates or cleaning trash on the sides of highways seems like it would be more work than playing WoW. Isn't the whole problem for whoever wrote that article that the prison officials are making money off of it? That's always the case with prisons though... While I can see how this is weird, I don't see why anyone would be pissed off about it.

Re:well, they ARE prisoners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246590)

You clearly didn't read the article or you'd be more upset. Or really upset at all.

farm it harder! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246574)

i like farming for softness inside my juicy pumpkins

12 hours a day? (1)

bl968 (190792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246582)

Amateurs, I do that before Breakfast...

Petitions (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246596)

I wonder if we can get any petitions from these guys. "Help I'm being forced to pick herbs, If I don't get 5 frost lotus an hour I get the whip. Please help me, I need 30 more before I can sleep.. help"

hmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246632)

What I have never understood is the appeal of buying gold with real money for a game. I mean, what's the point?

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246850)

Some people want to be "better" then everyone else at any cost. They want to be able to show off their thousands or millions of gold (depending on the game) or show off items which they bought with the gold. The problem is that they don't want to work for it.

But as you said, personally, if I haven't spent the time getting the items, I am not gonna go spend real money to buy some imaginary items to show off. To be completely honest, if I don't think its worth the time to acquire then I am not going to go waste money on it...

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246852)

It's obviously so that you do not have to actually play the game in order to get good loot, duh.

Re:hmm (2)

iGerbil (2199962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246874)

Well, endgame in certain MMOs (read: WOW) is highly competitive as well as extremely time and material consuming. And the time consuming part isn't the competitive part either. In order to get the gear and all the items one needs to raid or PVP competitively and be able to buy all the stuff they want/need, it takes hours upon hours upon hours of farming the in-game currency or the materials from the limited amount of in game zones that contain them. Either way, it takes time and can be quite life consuming. Not to mention there's always lots of competition for the materials, so you could spend hours farming them with very little result.

The alternative: Pay $5 for 10k gold and save yourself 3 days straight worth of farming and get on to the 'fun' parts of the game.

Not that I condone it, but I can certainly see the appeal. It saves a lot of time and frustration...

But frankly, I'm there to play the game to consume some time and take out my frustration. So spending a few hours chatting away with friends while picking herbs after work never bores me. Though judging by the money the gold farmers are pulling in, I seem to be the exception and not the rule.

I need more WOW gold hurry up you chinese drones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246820)

Get me more wow gold now.. WORK i tell you drones.

Chinese is like 1 billion of them per square foot.. figure we can get all games covered in about 1 month.
Drones work .. Ching chong.

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