The Battle Of The Two Giants: Is Gaming The New Gambling?

Summer – a time of endless sunshine, family holidays, tropical cocktails and… video games? If you are a kid or a young adult, summer off school or university most likely is the prime time to catch up on all of the video gaming that you’ve missed during term time.

You might skip meals, go without showers and ignore your social engagements to play video games. Sound familiar?

There’s just one letter that distinguishes the words of ‘gaming’ and ‘gambling,’ and we’d like to think that’s not coincidental. It’s a very small distinction between the two and, in fact, both excessive or uncontrollable gaming and gambling are recognized as addictions by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Video Gaming Becoming More Addictive

Paying money for video games themselves is no big surprise. You invest in having access to the game and it makes sense – people have spent time and resources in developing a said game.

Plus, with social media games or even casino games – think Zynga’s Farmville or Zynga Poker – players can purchase upgrades, tokens and more goes on a game.

Up until now, things have been this way, but a spanner has been thrown in the works quite recently. Inching gaming just over the line into the realms of gambling is the fact that players can now pay for special perks of chance within a game.

You might think this is a non-issue, but listen up. We think it’s dangerous because purchasing a loot box (or other in-game extras) for real money gives you a chance of obtaining desired items and doesn’t guarantee you’ll get them.

Experts are starting to sound the alarm bells that video games are thus becoming more addictive than ever before. Spending money on a chance of an outcome does sound like gambling, making governments and regulators look at this with more scrutiny.

Staying Away From Online Casinos

Inadvertently, minors are spending money playing games of chance and those overseeing the industry aren’t happy.

You’d think that with online and mobile casinos, and such well-known brands as GoWin casino, the biggest problem would be underage gambling. From the palm of their hand, via smartphone devices, teenagers can fake identities and access hundreds of real money slots and casino table games.

And while underage gambling remains the most serious issue, it affects teeny tiny numbers of overall gamblers. The biggest problem by far in the eyes of public health experts are video games themselves.

Staying away from online casinos is a welcome effect, but with the world of video gaming turning towards offering perks that are based on a chance for real money, who knows what the future holds.

After all, if a teen buys a loot box and doesn’t get that ‘skin’ he craved, there is a big chance he’d spend even more money later on. This would pave the way for unhealthy video gaming behavior that could even be classified as an addiction in long term.

Need Help or Have Questions About Addiction and Mental Health?

Reach out to these great resources below with any questions about getting addiction and/ or mental health help for you or a loved one.


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