What Do Video Games and Gambling Have in Common?

For several years, gaming has been popularized in mainstream entertainment so much that it has become a culture. One significant thing about gaming is that it cuts across all age groups, creating more than just gaming. Nevertheless, arcade games, video games, casino games, and esports games have all presented different realities in contemporary times.  

For many, the reality is that video games particularly offer so much fun that can’t reasonably be overemphasized one bit. But this poses a peculiar issue bordering around the connection between video games and gambling.

A lot of game enthusiasts and some experts believe video games are pretty much different from gambling. This post examines the link video games have with gambling, as well as problem gambling, particularly in the UK.

Money Spendings in Video Games

As huge amounts of money are spent on casino games and other core gambling games, money is also spent on video games. When we talk about casinos, some UK players prefer to play on local-based casinos, but many GamStop players are using NonGamStopBets casino portal to find GamStop-free online casinos. There are no big differences between those sites, both types provide the highest-level services and cover all popular requests. As a matter of fact, part of the concerns of many people has been that video games generate money that’s unregulated. Hence, the clamour for the regulation of video games has arisen from the revenues that can be generated from their regulation.

In its 2020 Global Consumer Survey, Statista found that 33% of UK respondents aged 18-64 spent money on video game streaming sites. Such sites have become available destinations for video gamers where players spend money on a subscription basis, according to the survey.

The same survey reveals that 26% of surveyed UK respondents spent money on video games downloads within 1 year. Video game downloading sites have also become a top destination for people to spend money.

Financial Times reports that video games spending took a leading position among children 4 to 14 years of age. The report found that during the lockdown, kids spend their pocket monies on video games rather than on books.

The report came from a quarterly survey by RoosterMoney of 24,000 young people in the UK. Admittedly, this creates a justifiable concern for parents/guardians, researchers, and policymakers, as kids might be risking exposure to problem gambling.

Loot Boxes

Loot boxes are digital boxes containing virtual items used to scale levels, earn points or activate more interesting parts of video games. In many jurisdictions, loot boxes are covered and a player can only access the content after paying. Each box has some items that may or may not be exactly what the player wants.

In most cases, players don’t get what they want after purchasing these boxes, which usually leads them into buying more. The problem lies in the fact that players are buying loot boxes out of seeming desperation to get what they want. There have been concerns in the UK that loot boxes, like gambling, are addictive in nature.

Particularly, a case has been made that loot boxes could plunge children into addiction, as they promote gambling. The Digital, Culture, media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons published a report on loot boxes. The report recommended that loot boxes be included in the Gambling Act 2005.

The House of Lords subsequently called for evidence to establish that loot boxes have some connection with gambling. Consequently, a House of Lords committee also recommended that loot boxes be added to the Gambling Act.

A research paper by Dr David Zendle of the University of York has also established a deeper nexus between gaming and problem gambling. According to his findings, gaming practices beyond loot boxes can spark off disordered gaming and personal impairment in players.

Possible Self-Exclusion Services in Video Games

The UK in its proactiveness to nip problem gambling in the bud has empowered a range of self-exclusion services. Such services fully exist to curb the dreadful and destructive trend of problem gambling in the UK. As one of the leading gaming jurisdictions, self-exclusion services can help you or your loved ones conquer problem gambling.

Self-exclusion typically happens through your phone and incorporates elements of your banking institution. GamStop is one of the most popular self-exclusion services in the UK, helping players overcome their problem gambling tendencies. It is operated by the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited and offered free of charge to players.

 You can activate the GamStop self-exclusion services for 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years. Once activated, you’re followed up, with your problem peculiarly handled and managed.


Video games are inherently fun and entertaining for players to spend their free time on. However, when this is overtaken by gambling and tendencies to gamble, there should be some regulation of it.

Therefore, it is envisaged that Parliament would have ample cogent evidence to make the most expedient decision on the matter. In the meantime, you can access the GamStop self-exclusion services for you or your loved one grappling with problem gambling.  

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Last Updated: Feb 15, 2021