Wargaming says betting is ‘a natural part of sports’ and therefore online games

Earlier this month, we covered SuperData’s report on the state of gambling practices in digital games, in which one of the analysis firm’s claims was that Valve’s ordeal last year — whereby government regulatory boards investigated the company’s level of complicity in illegal gambling of Dota skins — have put a chill on other studios considering similar arrangements, to say nothing of the CS:GO legal drama. “No other company wants to be next,” SuperData said.

But apparently there’s one company: Wargaming. The studio’s Head of Global Competitive Gaming, Mohamed Fadl, told Gamespot that betting in gaming could become “one of the major incomes for esports or streaming platforms.”

“You’re stupid to say betting is bad,” Fadl reportedly said. “It’s a natural part of sports.”

Fadl also believes very strongly in the potency of World of Tanks. “We’re making the game to be built like the pyramids,” he says, “for centuries or millennia.”

Most recently, the world’s biggest tank MMO added a new 30v30 battle arena called Frontline to the test server thanks to a new partnership with Austrian dev Bongfish.

Source: Gamespot via GI.biz
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20 Comments on "Wargaming says betting is ‘a natural part of sports’ and therefore online games"

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Mr Poolaty

And people pay cash for things,
In game items are things,
Therefore RMT is legit!

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Jeff

And the people who bitch moan and whine about Crown and Galactic crates will not say jack about this.

See folks THIS IS GAMBLING, not paying a couple shekels for what basically amounts to a digital MTG booster pack.

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Nordavind

“You’re stupid to say betting is bad,” Fadl reportedly said. “It’s a natural part of sports.”

Aww. Suppression technique followed by personal claim. 4th grade argumentation.

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Sally Bowls

With the increase in mobile, I am sure it is larger now, but in ’13 the BBC said

How much is the sports betting industry worth?

“The current estimations, which include both the illegal markets and the legal markets, suggest the sports match-betting industry is worth anywhere between $700bn and $1tn (£435bn to £625bn) a year,” says Darren Small, director of integrity at betting and sports data analysts Sportradar.

About 70% of that trade has been estimated to come from trading on football.

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Melissa McDonald

Betting has always been part of athletic competitions. Amongst the people/villagers. It requires no “sanction” from the sport itself, naturally, the further the Sport distances itself from the Wagering, the more honest the outcome is likely to be. It’s when there is collusion that impropriety rears its ugly head.
So if Wargaming is hosting betting? Not good. They can nerf a team to cover the House. If they leave it alone? All good.
Now, good luck policing that. :)
Welcome to Kentucky Horse Racing. LOL

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Bruno Brito

I hope the answer was equally fitting in noblesse:

“Go fuck yourself.”

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Sylkesh

Hummm !! As quite athletic myself and practicing multiple sports for my own pleasure and health, I must say that I’m devastated to see what sports have become these days :-( . For instance, do you remember or am I the only one: once upon a time, the Olympic Games were only for the amateurs, not for the pros :-(

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Reht

Depending on the country you represented… There is no way i would call the full time state-sponsored “amateurs” that some countries (Eastern-Bloc countries, etc.) fielded anything other than “professional.” The playing field is fairer now than it has been, unfortunately it’s comes at the expense of the amateurs from countries who actually fielded amateur players prior to 1988.

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Sylkesh

Yes definitely. I was also thinking about the fact that sports gravitate around money and business these days, and are less and less pleasure and health, even if they should be (imho). I don’t watch sports anymore (except e-sport sometimes), I only practice sports and I don’t really miss anything, but I’m an exception.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Interesting. Since gambling is universally understood to be controlled by organized crime, governments do all they can to regulate it. Makes me wonder how much of the push into Esports is being financed by mobsters. It may not be yet, but there’s a lot of illegal money just looking for someplace to become legit. Esports may be the next mobster haven.

If game devs want sanctioned gambling with their games, we’re going to eventually need demarcation between games that are developed for gambling/Esports and games that are intended for casual/non-gambling play.

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odin valhalla

Ban’s on gambling, IMHO, illustrate one of the current maladies of western culture that has extended into gaming. Creating laws that govern human choice and behavior due to the negative impacts on a minority is an affront to liberty. It’s like smoking, you can ban it in public places, tax it to death, spend huge amounts of money on educating people on its perils but banning it outright should be shouted down as loudly as possible.

If a game has gambling then it’s paramount for those who don’t like it not to support the game. It’s one thing to withhold your purchases of a game or content because they have gambling it’s another to demand it be gone completely because you feel it’s wrong. Laws governing human behavior, when that behavior only harms the one making the choice is frankly cover for ideology to promote their agenda of how others need to live.

The moral arguments often fall short when you present other relevant examples. For instance, there is a lot of data that suggests high fructose sugar, soda, and processed foods lead to several health conditions that end up harming many and costing a lot of money. Should laws be passed to force people not to eat what they want? It may read to you as a stretch “This is a game” but the principal is the slope is slippery.

Whats next? A study on excessive gaming being harmful= an auto shut off switch to your PC if its logged on to an MMO for X amount of time? Don’t gamble, cool but don’t infringe on my right to do so or a games right to offer it to me.

Liberty > bad law.

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Scratches

Yeah, you lost me at the first “should”…

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I couldn’t agree with you more that the sole purpose of many laws is to repress a minority by criminalizing their choices. And that many more laws are, in fact, created by minorities to push their agenda onto the majority. (See, for example, the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in the United States, where the majority of citizens approve of Planned Parenthood.)

However, this is really not new or a suddenly occurring current twist on lawmaking. As long as there has been the concept of law, it is has been used by one group to gain power over another. There is a long history of that in the United States, for example, where I live.

Although high content sugar food is now on the radar of many, there are better more nutritious ways to both process food and to eat. There are viable alternatives to downing a pop tart for breakfast or feeding your children cereal whose first listed content is “sugar”.

I think a better analogy for your argument is smoking. There is no alternative to smoking. The only choice to smoking is not to smoke. That’s the same as gambling. You either gamble or you don’t. You either smoke or you don’t. (Everybody has to eat something to survive. No one must gamble or smoke to survive.)

Anti-smoking laws come directly from the realization that smoking is not just harmful to the individual engaging in it, but massively to society through lost work-days, chronic illness, second-hand cancer and on and on.

The attempts by the tobacco industry to hide the detrimental effects of smoking were monumental, but when it became known that they had hidden so much confirming research, society finally turned against their profiteering and the anti-smoking environment we have today resulted.

Smoking is not forbidden, but it is regulated because it is recognized as a hazard to the people of a society. People may choose to smoke, but not in places where it may harm other people.

If gambling is seen has having the same detrimental effect on people who engage in it by a society, then they will regulate it to protect the people of that society from harm.

Other examples of harmful free choices curtailed by laws include sawdust in bread, lead in paint and asbestos in insulation.

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odin valhalla

I’m not suggesting its new at all. Its an old social practice thats been wrong for a long time. Laws that are intended to protect the minorities’ rights are critical. Laws that are intended to curtail free will based on someone else’s determination of what is right or wrong for you is a bad law IMHO.

Smoking in the U.S. is a perfect example. I’m all for restricting it in public places, I am against restricting it in private places like bars. In some states you can’t smoke in a bar anymore, because the effect harms other people. The law doesn’t allow for the liberty of the bar owner. Perhaps she wants to provide a place for people to smoke. These gambling laws are along those lines. We even have age requirement riders now. You have to be a certain age to gamble and the game is somehow responsible for disseminating the age of its users.

The fact a minor can log onto a game isn’t the games responsibility it’s the minor’s guardian. Again, I understand there is historic precedent but it’s never been right IMHO and I’ve yet to see a rationed argument as to why it is beyond someone pontificating about ethics and morals, as if those are universally held.

Liberty>bad law

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Well, using your analogy, if a person feels another person smoking near them is bad for their health, can they ask that person to stop? I think if you think about that, you’ll realize this is how fistfights break out in quiet bars.

So this is a perfect example of when a society determines that an activity is bad for its members and decides to regulate it on a social level, not on a personal level.

I think you are taking the idea of personal liberty and projecting that onto society as a whole, as though the society which makes laws operates with the same dynamic as the individual who makes choices for themselves alone. Yes, people are responsible for their individual choices; but society has a responsibility to its members to make sure they are given valid choices to choose among by weeding out those that are predatory, intrinsically harmful or fraudulent.

A society that fails to do so or purposely favors the predatory, harmful or fraudulent is a corrupt society.

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odin valhalla

Yes you can ask someone to stop, but are you asking them to stop in a bar that allows smoking? If you are then you better be prepared to hear no. If you do hear no and take issue with it, and get into a fist fight, that’s not the smokers fault. If you are on a public train and the person is smoking and it’s a no smoking train because its public transportation and the person don’t stop they should be arrested if the law provides for that.

In gaming terms we seem to have a very vocal group that portends to assume that their ideal should be the acceptable ideal. That in fact paying for something in game shouldnt afford you any advantage what so ever. The problem is the companies play pretty fast and loose in this vein, and they try to accommodate all sides while still maxing profits.

I’d much rather have a company say “yes we have lock boxes, you pay, you might get a powerful in game item that is better than what you get in game drops”. Then gamers choose to play that game or they don’t. We get the polar opposite, we get companies that dance around the statement, and then we get gamers shouting it down as P2W.

Supply and demand allows us to assume that those gamers, wouldn’t play the game and the company offering it would lose their revenue. The company would then need to cater their product offering to those that would pay for it. Neither is a “wrong way to play” the ambiguity by companies is a problem, and I don’t blame players irritation at the net results.

Last, you mention predatory practices and put it in the context of societies duty to police (to paraphrase) you left out personal responsibility, at what point say in the bar that allows smoking is it the responsibility of the patron to know that it’s a smoking bar and that by going in they expose themselves to smoking? Certainly we can’t regulate every behavior. But companies already do this, I haven’t and Id hazard to guess you haven’t read the last TOS you agreed to play an MMO. It’s filled with pages of legalize that essentially allow the company all sorts of liberty with the data you generate.

The threshold of “predatory” would be a hard sell, as at what point does it cross that threshold? I’d rather empower the consumer, through their consumption then add more pages of the legalese to read through.

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Melissa McDonald

Wow you really crammed in a lot of social crusades into that one post.

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Raul Gonzalez

He’s not wrong at all. I have friends at work that bet on every major game they got sheets going around the whole day for a cash pool.

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Sorenthaz

It’s hypocritical as hell anyway to condemn gambling with in game items that… *gasp* are obtained from gambling boxes. Real money via sites like AlphaDraft is another thing, but those skins people bet with and such were obtained via gambling in the first place.

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Scratches

In both cs:go and dota2’s cases, though, skins also drop directly at the conclusion of a game/map, and can even be purchased directly from the in-game store if you want something specific (in dota2’s case, at least). So, no, not all items are obtained from MTG cardpack-style “gambling boxes,” and, thus, it’s not actually hypocritical at all…

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