The converging worlds of games and gambling

Last month I wrote an article for World Online Gambling Report about the converging worlds of games and gambling – and what all this could mean from a legal and business perspective.  Here’s a taster: “There are growing arguments that [certain games could already be regulated under gambling law]… At that stage, the games industry may realise that it has been sleepwalking towards at least some degree of gambling regulation, following which it may wake up and want to do something about it.  At that point, expect a debate about the more fundamental question of whether games should be subject to gambling law, or whether their nature qua games means they should be treated separately.”

Interested?  You can read the full article here.

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2 thoughts on “The converging worlds of games and gambling”

  1. Interesting, as you say. Thanks for the article Jas Purewal.

    I’m one of those pushing for regulation of games that promote gambling. Specifically Runescape, and its Squeal of Fortune component in which players can gamble on a digital wheel, up to $200 per day.

    Runescape is currently arguing that their goods have no value and thus no money’s worth is won and thus no gambling committed.

    For an example of the reality of what Runescape items are worth…

    In which an adult, just, uses a fake gun and counterfeit money to steal $3300 worth of Runescape currency, from another player.

    My main problem is not the gambling alone, but it being targetted at children’s games. I can understand the reasoning, they are more gullible.

    Greed has definitely stirred a hornet’s nest. Runescape owners censored their own names and the name of their company from the Runescape forums, as they were getting a daily hammering from thousands of posters. And it was starting to reflect in Google hits for their names and the name of their company. Jeff Horing, Alex Crisses and Insight Venture Partners, are their names.

    Runescape forums have about 500k visits per week which generate 250k posts per week.

    Insight Venture Partners bought themselves some infamy when they gained majority control of Runescape this year and began the “monetising” which included gambling aimed at kids.

    Runescape gives players a couple of free spins a day, and has limited time offers for “rare” prizes on the wheel. Designed to habituate and incentivise children to gamble.

    And before I rabbit on too long, I’ve contacted 90+ organisations, some multiple times. The UK Gambling Commission twelve times.

    I do not know when social gaming gambling will be deemed to be gambling, but I don’t plan on stopping until the law gets a better connection and stops lagging behind newfangled online marketing.

    End rant.

    Cheers, and thanks again.

    Jakob Gamertsfelder

    12 Eighth St, Morgan, SA 5320 Australia

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