Convergence of Gaming and Gambling
The border between gambling and gaming was much clearer in the past than it is now. The two spaces are becoming more intertwined every day as a result of technological advancements and easy access. Today when gaming and gambling are both available at any moment, from any place and device with an Internet connection, more individuals engage in them.
Even though we could differentiate between the two based on whether or not money is spent, no one could say that gaming and gambling aren’t similar. There are plenty of things that make these two attractive to players, and most of those things are the same. Video and casino games are engaging, require some skill, and are based on chance – some more than others.
What Has Changed?
These days, many gaming activities have gambling features and vice versa. Only a few things differentiate them. If you gamble at a casino site, you can claim the best casino bonus Canada and play with the bonus money that isn’t yours, so it’s like playing for free. If what made gambling was the depositing of money, what’s the difference between the two in this case?
The same applies to games. People play against others in esports these days, bet on the odds and can win a fortune. If only gambling was an activity where you could win money, what are esports then?
The overlap in these activities has prompted a lot of research and great debates in recent years. In this article, we’ll discuss the convergence of the two in more detail.
The Convergence of Gaming and Gambling Explained
The convergence between gaming and gambling is based on numerous factors including the money, skill factors, etc. Some argue that the similarities that appeared over the years will increase the appeal of gambling to individuals that are more vulnerable. However, seeing how gaming has many gambling elements embedded in it today, is this a fair way to look at the situation?
The gambling industry has progressed a lot in protecting its players. Today, if you play at high-rated casinos like casino Friday, you have access to amazing responsible gambling programs. Since gambling elements have been introduced into games just recently, the gaming industry is far from creating such programs and offering this information to its players.
This makes us wonder – is any of the two more ‘dangerous’ for vulnerable individuals? If it is, which one is it?
The reality is, technology advances have influenced the availability of gaming and gambling opportunities tremendously. The easier access to gambling products has improved players’ safety, offered them amazing benefits like more bonuses, and gave them access to responsible gambling information like never before.
On the other side, there’s been an increase in integrating gambling with gaming and social media. For example, online video games include monetized virtual items that people can obtain via chance-based events. This is very similar to gambling and can easily be characterized like such.
This blurring of the border between gambling and gaming is referred to as convergence. While it is creating big challenges for policymakers and regulators, players seem to love the combination! Why wouldn’t they?
Thanks to this convergence, they can now play video games that feature mini-games in which players can bet on in simulated casinos. They can also participate in social casino games through social media platforms. Or, they can play a video game with loot boxes and spend cash to get unknown game features.
What Does the Future Hold?
Policymakers have already made some changes based on the convergence of these two activities. For example, there are regions in the world that ban loot boxes or apply the same rules as in gambling because of the nature of these games. Others still consider it gaming since it is not precisely involvement in gambling for real money.
The reality is, it’s not clear whether the association between the two reflect a selection or exposure effect. In other words, there will always be people that are more inclined to engage in gambling – or gaming due to their personal characteristics. There’s no proof that engaging in one activity can boost the likelihood of progressing to do another activity.
Over the years, we’ve learned that not every gambler is inclined to problem gambling. The same applies to gamers. As a matter of fact, the rate of gambling problems these days is smaller than ever thanks to programs and better education on the topic. People view this as a means of entertainment, just as they do games.
Based on all this, we can expect the convergence of gaming and gambling to go deeper. As a result, new policies and laws will be set in place to help players deal with gambling problems where needed, and regulate gaming that holds elements of gambling.