If we are being honest with you, the term ‘crack down’ is probably a little strong given the reality of what the Gambling Commission has actually said. In a recent statement they have ‘warned’ parents to be “on their guard” when it comes to the gambling-related dangers of video games.
This has all come in the wake of a paper published on virtual currencies, eSports and social gaming. All of which sought to emphasise the increasing popularity and regularity of unregulated third-party websites offering gamers the opportunity to bet on in-game rewards and (perhaps more worryingly) the outcome of video game tournaments.
Now this may not be news to many of our younger readers, who have grown up with online gaming and the normalisation of gambling. However, for the bookmakers, this is a relatively new realisation. This is made all the more surprising by a US earnings report on this market, which has stated that, the global gaming gambling market was worth between $3.9b and $5.1b in 2016, and predominantly moderated via illegal websites.
With this in mind, a slight warning may seem a little unsubstantial, and if we’re honest, you’d be right. An unregulated market worth between $3.9b and $5.1b needs stronger action. This is something that Heads&Heads fully supports. As our members will know, we do not support gambling, especially when it is unregulated and targeting minors.
Though, perhaps we are being too harsh. Last month, the Commission brought about the prosecution of two men, who admitted to being directors of Game Gold Tradings Limited, a company which operated and advertised FutGalaxy.com – an unlicensed gambling website.
This is great, but it is a drop in the ocean and further action needs to be taken. As matched bettors, we need a healthy and well regulated gambling industry, in order to thrive. The growth of this market is not good for us in any way, especially when a recent paper indicated that 8.5% of people have gambled on eSports and 90% of those that gambled had done so with in-game items.
In short, we need less statements like this: “Mums and dads could be giving money to a child thinking that they are playing a computer game when in fact they are gambling and this is a real worry.” And more solid legislation and legal action, which can only be led by the Gambling Commission.
Heads&Heads will keep an eye on this ‘growing’ market with an increased interest!