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11% Of 11-16 Year Olds Claim To Have Participated In "Skins" Betting According To Report

Will it lead to anything though?

One of the main arguments when it has come to things like in app purchases and microtransactions is the affect it has on young people. Today The Gambling Commission issued a new report relating to the general gambling habits of people aged between 11-16, with the report stating that 12% of that age group has gambled in some way this week alone. This isn’t limited to just gaming but also things like fruit machines, scratchcards, and private bets.

Indeed according to the report that figure is lower than those who have consumed alcohol (16%) but higher than those who smoked or used other drugs, with those figures being 5% and 3% respectively. When it does come to gaming the report states that 11% of those questioned have claimed to have taken part in gambling with in game items either in online titles or gaming apps.

This is in the form of skins betting where in game items can then be sold on for real money. A famous case involved YouTuber Nepenthez. real name Craig Douglas, and business partner Dylan Rigby who ran a gambling site involving FIFA’s virtual coins and turn them into real money to bet on matches. Both individuals were heavily fined.

According to the report 45% of 11-16 year olds who played games are aware that the possibility exists to bet with in game items when it comes to computer games and apps. Within the report The Gambling Commission’s stance regarding in game gambling was made clear.

The Gambling Commission takes the view that the ability to convert in-game items to cash, or to trade them (for other items of value) means they attain a real-world value and become articles of money or money’s worth. Where gambling facilities are offered to British consumers, including with the use of in-game items that can be converted into cash or traded (for items of value), a gambling licence is required.”

Now game companies themselves don’t  generally offer services where in game items or virtual currency can be converted to real money, but there are third party companies that do. If they are partaking in that then a license is required, however under current law there is no legal basis where young people can be stopped from buying lootboxes or other microtransactions in a game. The Gambling Commission has made clear before that any such measurements have to be passed by the government.

If you’re interested you can read the full report here.

Source: Gambling Commission

  1. Geffdof23
    Since: Mar 2010

    I’m not a fan of loot boxes or microtransactions, but the whole “it’s gambling” thing is going a bit far. It’s no different to kids buying football stickers or trading cards and not knowing what is in the pack. Gambling is when you bet money on the outcome of an event. This is buying a guaranteed gift, but the gift is random. You never don’t get a gift. Sometimes the gift is rubbish, much like the whole system, but just because the system is crap doesn’t mean it’s a form of gambling.

    Comment posted on 12/12/2017 at 17:11.
    • leeroye
      Since: May 2012

      The mechanic behind it preys on those with addictive personalities. Technically it is not gambling but they know what they are doing and who they are targeting when they put these systems in game.

      Comment posted on 13/12/2017 at 09:42.
  2. camdaz
    Since: May 2009

    I’d never heard of it until it was on the 10 o’clock news last night. It’s a bit worrying if you have kids around that age.

    Comment posted on 12/12/2017 at 17:11.
  3. Starman
    Since: Jul 2011

    I think the industry needs to start regulating itself and reigning in some of the recent shenanigans. Maybe start giving the odds on the rarest items and stop giving duplicates for example. Because if they don’t the authorities will step in and likely ban random items altogether.

    Comment posted on 12/12/2017 at 17:26.