UK Gambling Commission argues game studios should avoid complicity with unlicensed gambling operations

The UK doesn’t take kindly to illegal gambling, as anyone who followed the FIFA YouTuber gambling case in the region over the last year. Now the UK Gambling Commission has added its voice to the growing chorus of advisory and regulatory bodies in the west arguing against e-sports gambling in particular.

The Commission’s recent study of the subgenre revealed that of the small subset (between 3% and 8.5%) of gamer respondents who admitted to gambling, the vast majority use “in-game items” — including weapon skins — to do so. The investigation also suggests that underage gamblers are being targeted by unlicensed e-sports gambling websites “indiscriminately,” making such sites “parasites feeding off popular video games, presenting a clear and present danger to players including kids.”

While the UK group admits there’s no reason to believe game companies are intentionally complicit with such activities, it does argue that the studios benefit indirectly and act as a “de-facto central bank”; accordingly, the studios should have a responsibility to not be “passive to the exploitation of their player community by predatory third parties.”

This stands in contrast to claims made by the Washington State Gambling Commission here in the US, which last year began investigating Valve and accused it of “facilitating gambling” through skin transfers on Steam.

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6 Comments on "UK Gambling Commission argues game studios should avoid complicity with unlicensed gambling operations"

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I hope they take on lockboxes in MMO’s next :D Maybe I should write to them….


For me this sounds like a threat; the UK Gambling Commission basically saying that either the publishers find ways to prevent minors from using their games to gamble or else games where gambling can happen will get regulated.

odin valhalla

This is a great article because it erodes my personal stance on liberty. I don’t want to be prevented from my personal liberty due to someone elses issue, as long as I am not harming them by buying loot boxes why shouldn’t I be allowed too?

In this instance, it presents one of the few circumstances why I should forfeit the liberty. If in fact these 3rd party sites are evoking predatory practices against minors BECAUSE of the lucrative nature of loot box mechanics (gambling) then that means by partaking in it I am indirectly causing harm to others. Knowledge removes the ability to proclaim ignorance and on this basis I would concede that some in game mechanism/verification system be used to ensure these practices are “adult only”.


” gambling wesbites “indiscriminately,””

Should be websites.

Also something like this can never be prevented unless you have 0 trade-able items.


Even then, there would be still the issue of trading accounts!


Lol! The banner pic are SWTOR’s slot machines in Nar!

Hardly relevant to the seriousness of the discussion, but I do appreciate the pic because I spent a lot of coins in there. Lol