Thanks in no small part to the pandemic driven lockdowns of 2021, the gambling and gaming sectors experienced a boom in business as consumers flocked to betting platforms and online casinos. Similarly, a turbulent market for shares, currencies and commodities has led to soaring sign-ups for a range of trading platforms, including Robinhood, which added six million users in just 60 days during January and February 2021.
Few of us don’t enjoy a good game, and the more competitive, the better, which is why numerous firms are enlisting the gamification strategy to draw users in. But is the practice always justified, let alone ethical, especially in activities such as trading through which finances can be compromised? The controversial method has pros and cons, but it is sure to be more readily adopted as consumers increasingly embrace it.
Until recently, stock trading was the exclusive domain of high-flying, wealthy Goliaths. With the arrival of avenues such as digital platforms, every-day Davids are entering the arena and, by coordinating their efforts, significantly influencing the prices of targeted stocks. Such was the case of GameStop, with its share price recently experiencing a wild ride after attracting investor interest from different corners, including a band of Davids in Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum.
On June 20, 2020, it was reported that 20-year-old Alexander Kearns, a student at the University of Nebraska, had taken his own life after believing he had racked up more than $700,000 in losses by trading options using the popular Robinhood investing app.