Are Video Games a Gateway to Gambling

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 Gambling is incredibly accessible nowadays, and as a result, more people are giving this hobby a shot. It’s also true that there is an increase in the number of young adults playing casino games or betting on sports. As far as younger generations go they are typically more interested in playing video games and aren’t usually too interested in casino entertainment. However, they also have nothing to lose when they come across free spins no deposit casino Canada website since the bonus allows them to gamble risk-free. In other words, they are mostly indifferent to gambling unless it’s poker. Card games have always been popular, and people of all ages enjoy them.

 The reason why poker is more appealing compared to other content is that it’s more competitive and exciting. The most popular online video games are also regarded as esports competitions. Players love that sense of progression and improvement, and many view gaming as their desired career. That being said, there are a lot of millennials who just love casual gaming. They only have a few hours to spare and that’s why online casino Canada websites are perfect. Slots, blackjack, baccarat, and roulette, are all fast-paced games, and even playing for 30 minutes makes it a meaningful game session. However, let’s see whether playing modern AAA titles can also nudge young people towards gambling.    

Common Game Features That Resemble Gambling

Although most of the games don’t allow players to earn or win money, that doesn’t mean they are devoid of features that resemble gambling. In fact, there are lots of mechanics that rely on RNG. For starters, there are the infamous loot boxes where you can get incredible items or other in-game assets, but you can also get things that are useless.

 It’s very common for children to buy loot boxes, but sometimes they use their parent's credit cards without their knowledge. knowing. This obviously creates serious problems, as kids continue to buy these things until they pull what they want. It’s a behavior eerily similar to gambling and for many parents a legitimate reason for concern. Although children become more mature and have a better understanding of their actions, it’s still possible for games to condition some behavioral patterns.

 The main reason why loot boxes could pose a problem is that they adjust our expectations when we are trying to get what we want. Basically, it becomes normal for people to expect that they just need to keep playing until they get lucky. However, just because someone is buying loot boxes doesn’t mean they are automatically becoming a problem gambler. In many cases, this feature is frustrating and even causes players to quit playing. Gambling problems go a bit deeper, and we are going to discuss that next.

Problem Gamblers

The reason why many are worried about video games leading to gambling is that there is a risk of developing an addiction or becoming a problem gambler. A small portion of casino goers or sports betting fans are indeed having problems, and some of them even struggle with addiction. Problem gambling is when you lack self-control and often overspend on gambling, but they aren’t necessarily addicts. Compulsive gambling can be a big issue, and it’s something everyone is trying to avoid. Much like alcohol addiction, or any kind of addiction really, it can ruin lives, and cause additional financial problems.

 Addiction has to do with body chemistry, and just because someone does something excessively it doesn't necessarily mean they are an addict. Many parents think that their kids have an addiction to gaming, which is rarely the case. More often than not, excessive gaming could just be a coping mechanism or escapism gone wrong. Someone is going through something or having a hard time socializing so they turn to their hobby, or in this case gaming. There is rarely something about video games that will keep players returning if the game is no longer interesting. If this was the case, developers wouldn’t need to constantly add new patches and DLCs.       

 Casino games are different though, as they remain the same throughout the years. There are no new rules to blackjack, roulette, or poker, there are just variations or slightly different rules. Slots on the other hand have lots of themes and unique interactions but the core principles are the same. These games have incredibly high rewards, but they are also the fastest way to lose money, which can cause problems for those who are likely to develop an addiction.

 With this in mind, we can argue that it is really unlikely for someone to become a problem gambler due to playing video games. Still, it’s entirely possible for games to make the idea of gambling more appealing, or to in a way normalize it. This is especially true if gambling is introduced as a side feature to a popular game.

eSports and Skin Betting

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 Finally, we need to go over skin betting. This is a legitimate argument for video games being a gateway to gambling. People, including kids, who play Counter Strike Global Offensive actually gambled using in-game assets or cosmetics. Since these items could be traded, and you could technically get money for them, the activity was labeled as gambling. The good thing about this activity is that it allows players to utilize cosmetics or skins that they don’t want and don’t have any use for them. However, this doesn’t mean these skins don’t have any monetary value, after all, some of them were obtained through loot boxes that cost money.

 Of course, the legal system acted on this and necessary steps were taken. So, it’s not possible to argue that this is just an extension of a video game. It is labeled as a separate activity and regulated as such; skins are viewed as a virtual currency.

 Another way how games can lead to betting is through eSports. Many players are following professional gamers on streaming platforms and other social media. They follow teams and watch big tournaments. So, some of them feel confident enough that they can tell who will win.

 This is pretty much why people bet in general, they feel really confident about their knowledge and speculative accuracy. These things do improve your odds of winning but at the end of the day, there are so many things that can go wrong and change the outcome. That being said, this isn’t really a worrisome form of gambling, as you are likely to limit yourself to the matches or events where you have meaningful insight.   


To sum up, there are certain instances or certain games that are potentially normalizing gambling. There were also incidents like skin betting, but these are so rare that they cannot be used to set a precedent. The gaming industry is very big and diverse, so it’s more likely to lead to excessive playing or spending too much time on a PC or console. These are unhealthy habits and legitimate reasons for concern. As far as gambling goes, it’s important to keep an eye out and pay attention to problematic features, like loot boxes. They might not lead to gambling directly, but they are still a form of irresponsible spending.