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How Gambling Has Impacted the Gaming World


Over recent years, there has been a frenzy of legal activity with regards to gambling and gaming. But how did this association come to be such a contentious issue and what is considered to be gambling in the world of gaming? Here are some of the ways in which gambling has impacted the gaming industry. 

What is Considered to be Gambling?

If you’ve ever played an arcade game or taken part in a raffle, you may not have realised that you were taking part of gambling. Any activity that requires you to risk money or something of value in a game or bet in the hopes of winning a prize or a larger sum of money is considered gambling. In the world of gaming, there are several activities which are considered to be forms of gambling, including esports betting, fantasy sports, loot boxes and skill-based games, if you’d like to play these you can look for deals using this. For some of these activities, there are no age restrictions, so children as young as 11 have been involved with gambling. The Gambling Commission have found that over one in ten 11-16-year-olds have participated in gambling at some point. 

What actually constitutes gambling is getting even more convoluted with Gamers biggest bugaboo, Loot Boxes. As you already know Loot Boxes are in game consumables which can win you a randomized prize and you can buy them with your own money. So you’re at risk of losing money spent on Loot Boxes trying to get an item that you don’t know how likely you are to get, so essentially lootboxes in game are no different to hitting the Slot Machines.

Changes in the Laws Surrounding Gambling and Gaming

There have been significant changes to the laws concerning online gambling and the likes of fantasy sports, particularly in the UK and US. The evolution of gaming technology has made certain gambling-related issues much more prevalent and accessible, particularly for elements such as casino-style games, chance-based mechanics with regards to virtual items and loot boxes. Although these activities are prohibited by certain game publishers, the fact that they are so popular with gamers has resulted in them taking place in unauthorised ways and on secondary markets. 

The Evolution of Technology

Video gaming started out in arcades where players put coins into a machine to play, but with the introduction of home-based consoles, players could enjoy their love of gaming from the comfort of their own home. And, as gaming has evolved, the content has become more dynamic and adaptable. Video games are now constantly updating and downloadable content has become a more prominent feature. Instead of selling new games, publishers are making money by selling virtual items and encouraging players to spend virtual or real cash to buy upgrades or in-game achievements for a better gaming experience. 

Loot boxes and other chance-based mechanics give players the perception of winning, even though they’re often chancing money without seeing anything of value in return. Social games such as online casinos and esports have also gained popularity, creating a whole new channel for the game industry to make a profit. 

Finally, the rise in blockchain technology has resulted in a niche market for gaming, referred to as blockchain-based games. While it’s still in the early stages, this genre has seen some games include virtual items that have sold for almost £100,000. The future of the gaming industry with regards to gambling is still uncertain – there are many pending laws and regulations that could make or break this avenue, which leave things in limbo for game publishers in how they package certain features. 

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