Legalized gambling with penny auctions

Slot Machine

Image by Rob Boudon via Flickr

I love slot machines. Actually, it’s the gambling I love. I pretty much hate slot machines. You put in money and you might win. There’s no guarantee. In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll lose. There’s no guarantee of winning with card games either, but at least you have information available to change the odds of winning.

Frequently, I see ads on this site through Google’s Adsense that advertise penny auction websites. In a common penny auction format, each bid increments an item’s bid price by one cent. Each bid costs a quarter. Each bid extends the timer and the last person to bid wins.

It’s tough to judge the reputability of these penny auction sites, since the barrier to entry is very low. Unlike Internet auction sites run by auctioneers, it’s unlikely that there is an auctioneer of any kind behind any of the many sites that use this model. In fact, there have been recent news stories regarding automated shill bidding by some popular penny auction sites.

I’m not the first auctioneer to make the association between penny auction sites to gambling. For an alternative, more in-depth analysis of penny auction sites, read Mike Brandly’s take on the subject.

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Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES | |

Aaron Traffas, CAI, AMM, CES, is an auctioneer from Sharon, Kansas. For the last 22 years he's worked for Purple Wave. Aaron served as president of the Kansas Auctioneers Association in 2017 and on the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees from 2009 through 2013. He is a past instructor at CAI and co-wrote the original ATS and AMM designation courses from NAA. An active contract bid caller, he has advanced to the finals in multiple state auctioneer contests. During the summer, Aaron operates a farm in south central Kansas. Aaron is an active singer and songwriter and the Aaron Traffas Band's latest music can be found at as well as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.