How Gaming Became Gambling?

How Gaming Became Gambling
In the past gaming and gambling had very little to do with each other. Video games in Canada used to be something people did for relaxation and it never involved actual money while gambling has always revolved around money.

However, in the past years’ trends show that video gamers spend more and more money on game features and some of these do resemble gambling. In this article, we are discussing the addictive elements of video gaming with a Canadian iGaming expert Daniel Bennet. Daniel is an avid gamer and you can read more about him here.

Gaming Gambling Addiction

Video gaming and gambling addictions are not 100% understood by science. Just like other addictions, the reasons behind gaming addiction are a combination of biological, genetic and environmental factors. There can be a number of health issues in the background such as depression or ADHD while some people gamble or play video games to reduce stress or escape real emotions.

While both gaming and gambling addictions are unhealthy the latter one can lead to financial disaster and what is worrying is that video gaming are featuring gambling features more and more. The gambling market is strictly regulated worldwide. If you play at a casino online and they are licensed to operate in Canada, like Casino Luck, they will be tightly regulated while in-game purchases or video games are not regulated the same way.

Gambling In Video Games

In 2004 the idea of loot boxes appeared in the video gaming industry and it quickly became used in both free-to-download and full-prized titles. Loot box gambling is purchasing a loot box not knowing what is inside it. Loots are virtual items that can be simply for personalizing your avatar, or they can be weapons, extra lives or something else that can help your gameplay.

Selling in-game or in-app items to help the players access new levels is of course a great business. Before these options were available the only chance of the game producers to make money was through selling their titles and periodically releasing updates or offering subscriptions. However, in-game purchases can generate regular income as a few dollars here and there come to serious sums over a course of weeks and months.

Nowadays, mobile gaming brings in more revenue than console and PC gaming and mobile game gambling addiction is reaching wider demographics than ever.

Underage Gambling

In Canada and most countries in the world, it is illegal to gamble under the age of 18 (and sometimes 19 or 21). When you sign up on a casino’s website you will have to prove your age. You can only deposit with debit/credit cards that are on your name and you can only withdraw your winnings to the same card you deposited with. This is to avoid underage gambling, money laundering and fraud.

Unfortunately, in-game purchases in video games are not regulated strictly. Often the family iPad, smartphone or PC is linked with the parents’ credit card or bank details and even a small child could make purchases, not understanding what real money means.

Gambling in video games study shows that a large percentage of people who play video games, and especially young people, will at some point buy loot boxes. These pay-to-win designs are making a direct link between social success and finance. This correlation is especially prevalent in the United States and Canada where people generally equate money with success. When playing multiplayer games there is immense pressure on teenagers to prove themselves so if one loot box wasn’t what they were hoping for they will purchase the next one.
How Gaming Became Gambling

Gaming To Gambling

Gambling in video games in the form of loot-boxes is extremely popular. In esports tournaments, opening loot boxes is exciting for both the players and the millions of people who are watching them on YouTube or Twitch. Games with loot boxes can then become even more popular, leading the video games sales lists. Loot-box collectables or player characteristics can be sold on some websites or they can be traded for credits for other games of chance.


In the past 15 years, elements of gambling have been used in video games. As video games are categorized as games of skill and not games of chance the regulation is not very tight. This can lead to teenage gambling and can cause financial strains on video game addicts.
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