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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