Gambling in Video Games

The line between video games and gambling is blurring. Slot machines themed like games, betting on eSports, gacha mechanics, and loot boxes all tie the tried and true behavior to video games in some form.

A link between problem gambling and loot boxes in gaming has been verified in reports over the past 2 years. In particular, one that was produced by researchers of the universities of Wolverhampton and Plymouth discovered that loot boxes are psychologically and structurally akin to gaming. A large number of young gamers, particularly below the age of 10, are opening them.

The UK government has held much consideration over whether or not gambling laws for traditional centers observed in reviews of casinos in Thailand should be applied to loot boxes.

It’s a matter of definition and viewpoint when considering the matter of general gambling across eSports and video games. Many would argue against it, but there are a number of crossovers seen with the likes of digital packs and microtransactions with random items seen in games such as FIFA Ultimate Team.

Giving another look at poker, one of the most popular betting games as seen in reviews of casinos in Thailand, let’s review some facts:

  • Poker is a game classified under the gambling category
  • Online versions exist, and some would argue that virtual poker is much akin to a video game
  • The ability to go online at all, let alone interact with thousands of other players, makes it a multiplayer experience
  • If a provider exists that delivers prize money in virtual tournaments, does it then become competitive?
  • Can online poker competitions be considered eSports?

Regardless of opinion, it’s quite clear that there is a direct correlation between eSports and online gambling. Things get even fishier when observing sports betting. Many websites, like reviews of casinos in Thailand, now offer sports betting not just on horse races or football games but also eSports events.

A number of software providers and game studios include the mention of the term “video game poker,” and the flash graphics will often remind viewers of the gaming industry.

When observing the issue from a legal standpoint, however, it’s difficult to merge the concepts together. The vast majority of countries have legislation in place that is quite strict with respect to protecting minors and preventing general gambling addiction. This is what makes games with a loot box or gacha so controversial.

The entire gacha trend originated in Japan and is based around small vending machines that dispense any individual capsule toy from a presented set. To acquire the entire set, the collector would have to spend significant coins in the hopes of reaching the highest odds. These machines are a big deal overseas, with entire shops filled from the top to the bottom with machines.

Konami was the original developer that took the concept into the territory of video games. It was added to their 2010 dungeon-crawler known as Dragon Collection.

Kanji Prearms

Kanji has been holding a controller since he could walk, and loves nothing more than talking about his latest conquest with friends.

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