The Same or Different? Convergence of Skin Gambling and Other Gambling Among Children


Available online – article from the Journal of Gambling Studies via SpringerLink.


Abstract: There is increasing attention on the introduction of gambling-like practices within video games. Termed convergence, this has been explored from the viewpoint of the product, examining similarities in game/gambling mechanics. Understanding convergence of practice is essential to map the epidemiology of these behaviours, especially among children. This paper focuses on the betting of skins within video games to explore co-occurrence with other forms of gambling among British children aged 11–16. Analysing the British Youth Gambling Survey showed that 39% of children who bet on skins in the past month had also gambled on other activities. Betting on skins and other forms of gambling increased with age and concordance of skin gambling/betting was greatest for those who also gambled online. Among gamblers, those who bet skins had higher rates of at-risk and problem gambling than those who did not (23% vs. 8%), though they had a greater breath of gambling involvement. Skin gambling alone was not significantly associated with at-risk gambling when other forms of gambling activity were taken into account. Skin betting and gambling on other activities cluster together, especially where the medium underpinning the behaviours is the same. Children who engage in both skin gambling/betting and other forms of gambling should be considered at-risk for the experience of harms because of their heightened engagement in gambling and gambling-like activities. Access article online

Reference: Wardle, H. (2019). The Same or Different? Convergence of Skin Gambling and Other Gambling Among Children. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09840-5

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“Skins” in the Game: Counter-Strike, Esports, and the Shady World of Online Gambling (open access article)

Hardenstein, T. (2017). UNLV Gaming Law Journal: 7(2), article 5. Retrieved from http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/glj/vol7/iss2/5

Released in 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the sequel to Counter-Strike, the most-played online PC action game of all time. 1 CS:GO casts players as two teams of five players with the goal to either eliminate the opposing team or disarm a bomb set by them. 2 The fast-paced first-persons hooter has rapidly grown in popularity among the online video game community. 3 Since Counter-Strike’s original release in 1999, two major movements have occurred: 1) the rise of Esports4 as a major industry; and 2) an explosion of interest in online gambling. With the release of CS:GO in 2012, these two phenomena converged, fostering a growing practice of wagering ingame
items on CS:GO matches through a number of third-party sites not affiliated with Esports leagues or game developers. 5 Scholars, industry experts, and legal theorists have just begun to explore the link between online gambling and video games.6 As of late, however, the practice of wagering in-game items—specifically the “weapon-skins” bought, sold, and traded in the CS:GO community—has received very little attention from the legal community. This article addresses the skins-betting phenomenon through the lens of online sports wagering. Part II of this article provides a brief overview of the Esports growth. Part III dives into CS:GO’s bustling “skins” trade, highlighting the avenues spectators can use to wager their skins on CS:GO matches. Part IV then pivots, exploring the ways in which wagering ingame items is synonymous with the traditional elements of gambling. Part V explores three major federal laws used to curb online gambling, most notably sports betting. Part VI assesses the applicability of these three federal gambling laws to in-game item betting. Finally, Part VII addresses a number of current and potential issues with skins betting, ultimately answering why the practice even deserves regulation in the first place. Access full article