I think bidding on penny auction sites is akin to a gambling-like experience," Professor Griffiths said. "Obviously, when people are bidding again and again and again and they don't actually win the item in the end, that's very much like gambling."
However, Juha Koski from online auction site Madbid.com disagrees. "We have two experts who have given us their opinion on this. This is definitely a game of skill and would not form under any circumstances under the definition of gambling."
That was the most surprising disagreement since Madoff disagreed with proposed hedge fund regulation. Five reasons why these auctions are really lotteries:
1. The gambler pays for every "bid", each bid is essentially a non-refundable ticket
2. The final price of the item bears minimal relation to the value of the item on the open market
3. The lottery operator (or seller) gains most profit not from the winning bidder but instead from the number of bids made (or tickets bought)
4. The operators argue that entry needs significant skill. Actually I agree - in the same sense that choosing lottery numbers requires significant skill
5.Sometimes the winning price is the lowest unique bid, that essentially proves it
It's obvious. If the supposed regulators cannot work this out then they are either incompetent statistical morons or subservient slaves of the gaming industry.
[note: yes I know that choosing lottery numbers requires some "skill" to avoid picking the obvious numbers that other people are more likely to have picked]