School program that encourages gambling?

January 5th, 20130 Comments »
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School program that encourages gambling?

Some think that the Vivo Miles program is indeed a school program that encourages gambling.

With casino gambling so easily accessible, some worry about the influence it can have on children.

So much so, that a school program in the UK, Vivo Miles, is under fire.

Vivo Miles is a school-paid program for schools, that is based on positive rewards and recognition, rather than punitive measures.  It is so popular that there are even mobile applications available for Android and iPhones for students to track their points.

There are few parts to the program.  One part provides school teaches with the ability to reward students by awarding points and stickers to students that can be used to unlock a student’s avatar character. There seem to be no objections to this.

Another part of the program, the one that some think is a school program that encourages gambling, allows students to use the points they have earned to participate in a lottery where students can “win” big ticket items including an iPad.

That’s the part that some are unhappy with and the program was reported to the Gambling Commission.  For now, while the program is reviewed, Vivo Miles has placed that part on hold.

The Gambling Commission has, thus far, refused to be drawn into the drama.  They said,

In general, the commission would take any complaint regarding children and gambling seriously, as one of the three licensing objectives is to protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

 

We have powers to take regulatory action if we consider it necessary to achieve that objective.

 

Reading about the program, I cannot help but compare it to current programs that we have available in the United States.

Years ago, I worked as the GM of a major brand arcade and, on a particular game, children were awarded tickets based on how well they scored in the game.  The tickets were redeemable for prizes, based on how many tickets they had,  so the children wanted to keep playing the game that awarded the tickets. Their goal was to rack up the tickets and redeem for bigger “prizes”

Back then, I remember telling some friends that I noticed many similarities between the arcade and casino gambling concept.

There was even a game similar to the casino “Flip-it” game where coins are pushed off of a platform. The arcade version of flip-it pushed tokens, rather than the quarters that we pushed off the platform in the casinos..  Other than that, the games were virtually identical.

I was very surprised when I first saw the game, although I should not have been since nearly all of the casino gaming manufacturers are represented in the arcade industry.

A few years ago,  I attended a birthday party for a small child at Chuck E Cheese and they had a similar set-up with the tickets, where children received tickets.  The children wanted more and more $’s from their parents so they could obtain more and more tickets.

The Vivo Miles currently still offers a similar program. The children can redeem their earned miles for sports equipment, computer games, beauty products, stationery items, mobile top-ups and movie tickets, which are among the offerings.

What is the difference between redeeming the tickets earned for “big-ticket” items or participating in a lottery for big-ticket items?

Is Vivo miles really a school program that encourages gambling, or is just a very creative way to involve children in a rewards program?

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About Chellie Cervone

A Las Vegas "native" by way of New York, I'm a professional blogger who favors all things Las Vegas and offers a unique, witty and sometimes controversial perspective. You can count on me to tell it like it is. Please visit my other sites Las Vegas World News and Celebrity Feast Connect with me on Google+ Chellies World on Google+

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