Juniper Research studies many aspects of gambling. One report recently released discusses video game gambling and how much people spend on it. Video games are one of the biggest moneymakers for companies around the world. Right now, the industry produces 30 billion dollars. By 2020, Juniper Research believes the industry will be making even more.
Around the world gamers will spend 50 billion on video game gambling. In just two years, it is likely the industry will see $50 billion earned from players around the world. It comes from in-game revenue.
Loot box gambling is one-way players gamble. “Skin” gambling is the other option. Both are ways for the player to improve their video game character, as well as get some upgrades. Players buy video game features, upgrading their character. Why it is called a gamble is due to not knowing what is being purchased. The prizes in the boxes are not revealed until after a player has paid for it.
Due to the chance surrounding the loot boxes, certain countries find the concept improper. Belgium, Australia, and the United States do not care for loot boxes and have created legislation against such game features. EA Games removed their game Star Wars Battlefront 2, from store shelves because it had loot boxes. Video game manufacturers are working to stay within regulations.
Skins are not as serious a concern as the boxes. Skins are a cosmetic character improvement, which can be purchased with cash. State laws could still say that these “skins” are of real-world value since one has to pay cash, and that could lead to more trouble.
Washington States Ruling
Even Washington state recently ruled if you purchase something of value for a game, then it becomes gambling. Skins are something in the game, but they seem to have real-world value because people will trade them. They will give money to gain the skins they want. Steam is one platform that allows for skins to be traded. It is a PC gaming platform. Players can go on the marketplace and buy skins that are sold for cash. Steam even keeps 5%. Very soon this type of action will disappear based on regulation, in specific countries, at least based on laws like Washington.
Washington State and several others do not believe in allowing gambling online, and by recent definition, a game that allows the trade of “skins” for money would be gambling.