UK Gambling Commission: 11% of 11-16 Year-Minors Have Bet With In-Game Items

The Gaming Commission in the region wants to act preventively.

Video GamesVideo Games

After the scandal that enveloped Star Wars: Battlefront II in a matter of loot boxes and microtransactions, authorities from different countries have been given the task of investigating and defining if at any time the presence of real money operations and chance in video games can be considered as a gambling. In that sense, the Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom presented its annual report where it registered that 11% of minors have bet with items in video games.

The Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom presented its annual report where it devoted a section to gambling present in video games. The organization conducted a survey taking a representative sample of 2803 children between the ages of 11 and 16 who said they were users of video games. Of this total, 11% revealed that they have bet with items belonging to a game and that percentage, more than half did in the last month.

According to the analysis of the commission, the age group that is betting with items in the games is one of the users with 14 years. It is worth mentioning that of the total number of respondents, 34% said they have knowledge of this type of practices in video games, although they denied having participated in any of them.

It is important to mention that although the subject is in vogue due to recent events, it is known that illegal betting circuits have been structured with items in some multiplayer titles. In this regard, the site Dot Esports cites a case study analyzed by the BBC, which exposed the experience of a young student who started betting with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive items and in 4 years lost $2672 USD.

Based on the results of the investigation, Tim Miller, executive director of the Gaming Commission of the United Kingdom, said: “We require gambling operators to have strong protections in place to prevent children from accessing their products and are actively reviewing how some, like age verification, can continue to be strengthened. However, it is clear that many children’s experiences of gambling-style activities are coming from the playground, the games console or social media rather than the bookmaker, the casino or the gambling website. That’s why it is essential that we work across industries and with parents so that together we can protect children and encourage those that choose to gamble in adulthood to do so safely.”