Young people find gaming on the internet exciting. It is often harmless, but the danger of addiction is lurking.
Why Online Gamer Often Gambles
Half of the young people who play a lot of online games switch to gambling for money. This is not only illegal – gambling via the internet is still prohibited in other countries – but also worrying because gamers are not always aware that they are gambling. The Gaming Authority announced this warning during the presentation of the annual report.
The regulator commissioned an investigation into all kinds of gaming apps and games that are offered via sites. Think of Hearthstone, where you have to collect digital cards, or the popular League of Legends. Quite a few people, an estimated 4.1 million in total, play such games from time to time. This yields a total turnover of more than 25 million euros per year, doubling compared to 2012. The game apps, also known as social games, are especially popular among young people between 13 and 24 years old.
About a third of all players eventually make the switch to paid gambling, concludes research firm Super Data Research, which mapped the digital games market from October last year to January. This happens more often with young people: about half of them also gamble.
Sometimes this happens unnoticed and the temptation to keep putting in something is ingrained in the game. You can then gamble with virtual coins, for example, which can ultimately be paid out in real money. It is mainly casino-like games such as poker or bingo that also contain gambling elements, according to the Gaming Authority.
But games that entice the user to buy extra weapons, outfits, or other virtual items that help advance a level can also contain ingredients that the supervisor considers worrisome. This is mainly due to the temptation to keep going, something that young people are particularly sensitive to.
suyver: “It is not prohibited, and as the Gaming Authority we only decide if there are elements of chance in a game. Think of investing money in combination with the prospect of a hefty price. But also providing information is one of our statutory duties. That is also the reason that we want to identify this. ”
According to the regulator, that many gamers end up gambling is due to the tension, the gambling desire and the hope to make a lot of money. But that does not mean that all those people also develop a gambling addiction, the suyver admits. According to them, more research is needed to find out who actually gets into trouble within the group at risk.
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The regulator ordered the investigation because games and games of chance are changing significantly. If it is clear in the physical world when you walk into an arcade that it is all about gambling, all kinds of hybrid forms have emerged online.
Those powers will be expanded if it is up to Suyver. A legislative amendment that regulates this is currently in the Senate. The new law will make gambling via the internet legal, in order to better regulate the market. The idea behind this is that people now end up on illegal platforms .
Suyver: “With the envisaged law, we will have many more options for imposing strict requirements when granting licenses to online providers of games of chance. Then we can also intervene if a social game encourages gambling. ”