Gambling in Video Games – Controversy That Causes Discussion

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With the increasing availability of online services, the widespread use of smartphones, and the popularity of social networks, our lives have changed for good. Not only are we used to rely on the Internet, but we have totally focused our lives on the online world and social networks, and that, by all accounts, has not brought us any good in most cases.

The development of technology has irreversibly changed modern life. Today we have access to various activities thanks to the Internet. For example, we don’t have to go to a nearby betting office to pay for a bet slip. We can also do it online on one of the many sites for that, while the best among them are singled out at Bookmaker-Expert.com. And, additionally, we can find gambling even in video games. This phenomenon has undoubtedly caused numerous controversies that are constantly talked about.

Why did we mention this? The terms “gambling” and “gaming” are often used interchangeably, especially in the gambling industry. The main difference between the concepts is that in video games the outcome is achieved with skill, while in gambling the situation is reversed for certain games. Although there are differences in gambling and playing video games, it seems that these two concepts are in an inseparable connection. Numerous video games with gambling testify to this. How has gambling in video games become the subject of much debate? We will find out in this text…

Gambling in Video Games – From Candy Crush Saga to Loot Boxes

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The history of video games is several decades old. During the second half of the 20th century, video games began to appear. They peaked during the 2000s when they began to be played on the Internet. From the video game Candy Crush Saga to titles like Grand Theft Auto, League of Legends, Minecraft, and Fortnite, the video game industry has flourished.
Advances in technology have led to players being able to bet on the outcome of events in some video games. Whether in the form of loot, simulated casino games, or eSports, gambling in video games provokes conflicting views. However, there are those who claim that there is nothing wrong with this type of video game. Let’s see what bothers opponents the most about the intertwining of gambling and gaming.

Loot Boxes

Source: bbc.com

The question of whether loot boxes, i.e. random prize packages, are actually some form of gambling has sparked numerous comments. Gambling regulators, the gambling industry, as well as legislators also joined the discussion. Each of them had a different opinion.

At the heart of the discussion were skill and chance. Players, in order to gain access to loot boxes, give a certain amount of money to open them. These boxes contain items that help players be more successful in the game. In addition to paying for this content, it is also obtained at random. So, until it opens, the player does not know what he is paying for.

In 2018, the Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom reported that 31 % of children aged 11 to 16 bought loot boxes. They also stated that the amount of money spent on them was related to the problem with gambling. In the end, the Commission decided that buying loot boxes was not a form of gambling. However, 19 other jurisdictions took a different view. In their opinion, loot boxes are a form of gambling.

Although the video game industry has repeatedly emphasized that loot boxes are not related to gambling, Belgium and the Netherlands were among the first to declare them illegal. Most experts think that loot boxes have a lot of formal similarities to gambling. Therefore, they can introduce players to the world of gambling and develop problematic behavior, as some experts say. Gambling in video games was called into question after they put forward this attitude.

Gambling in video games has divided many, but what is the situation with eSports?

Esports Betting

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This relatively new type of betting has gained immense popularity over the last few years. Esports is a form of competition in which players who are trying to win a certain video game participate.

Playing video games has become one of the most popular recreational activities for children, adolescents, and adults. People around the world are now actively and professionally playing video games. This has led to numerous competitions, so eSports is one kind of sport today.

It is followed by millions via streams on YouTube and Twitch, and betting on the outcome of competitions and tournaments is becoming increasingly popular.

The essence of eSports is that players play against each other and show their skills in a certain game. According to reports, more than one billion people participate in video games either competitively or recreationally. This is an amazing statistic that shows how popular video games like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, FIFA, and League of Legends actually are.

Esports betting is also popular. Did you know that the League of Legends World Championship final held before the coronavirus pandemic attracted over 44 million viewers? Also, eSports betting reached $ 12.9 billion last year! Gambling in video games definitely breaks all boundaries. It used to be a real challenge to find a good eSports betting site. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.

Social Casino Games

Source: apkpure.com

In so-called social casino games, users spend money to play games such as roulette, blackjack, or slot machines. There are many free casino games, but also those that are played for real money. These games are usually found on Google Play.

A recent study confirmed that this type of gambling in video games attracts millions of active users. Also, a recent study by Canadian scientists found that as many as 12.4 % of adolescents are involved in these games.

CS: GO Roulette

Source: youtube.com

CS: GO roulette is a game of chance that allows you to win valuable skins for your equipment. Skins can transform the look of a weapon. The user can also sell skins to other players for real money and can exchange them with others.

As with the usual casino game, in CS: GO roulette there are pockets of different colors and numbers on which players put in money. But there are also differences:

  • CS: GO roulettes usually don’t use 37 or 38 pockets but a smaller number
  • in addition to the famous three colors (red and black numbers, green zero), there are CS: GO roulettes with a large number of other colors
  • rewards for different bets vary

Despite these differences, in general, CS: GO roulettes operate on the same principles as casino roulettes. CS: GO roulette is accompanied by numerous negative comments so we advise you to be careful while playing the same.

Conclusion

The boundaries between video games and gambling in these cases have been completely erased. In addition to negative comments and care for children, there is also a risk factor, as well as the vulnerability of individuals who already have a problem with gambling.

Over the last 30 years, the gambling industry has made great strides and efforts to promote responsible gambling. A wide range of measures has been put in place to reduce and prevent damage. Namely, the gaming industry has developed numerous tools that could be used in a similar way by the video game industry. In that case, gambling in video games would not raise dust in this way.

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