Roman Semiokhin is a gaming industry expert, serial entrepreneur and committed philanthropist who has donated millions to the fight against COVID-19. This article will explore the issue of responsible gambling, looking at whether the increasingly popular pay-to-win gaming sector aligns with responsible gambling measures.
People gamble for a variety of different reasons. They may be lured by the prospect of a big win, the thrill of correctly predicting an outcome, the opportunity to socialise and make friends, or simply the sense of escapism.
Gambling boosts participants’ confidence, making them feel exhilarated and alive. However, for these very same reasons, in some situations gambling can spiral out of control, impacting people’s lives. You can find out more about the psychological impact of gambling by viewing the embedded PDF.
Meanwhile, esports and online video gaming have entered the mainstream, with competitive tournaments streamed from venues across the globe. Take for example the 2021 League of Legends World Championships, which attracted more than four million international viewers. Today, streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming provide fans with the opportunity to connect with teams and players directly, enabling esports companies like FaZe Clan to capitalise by investing more in merchandise.
Features like in-game purchases and microtransactions are appealing to players who wish to fast-track their success. ‘Pay-to-win’ gaming essentially involves using real life cash to buy in-game objects, or gambling real money in slot wheel-style loot boxes. Although this is not a new concept by any means, the lure of pay-to-win gaming has grown considerably in recent years. You can learn more about growth of the pay-to-win market by viewing the embedded infographic.
Experts predict that by the end of 2022, the global online microtransaction market will grow by more than 13%, reaching $67.6 billion in value. The COVID-19 pandemic is widely believed to have driven the surge in popularity of microtransactions and similar features, with one UK study revealing that 47% of participants spent more time gaming during lockdown than previously, which in turn drew them to spend more money on in-game items.
This aspect of the gaming industry is not without its critics, with many gamers who engage with features such as microtransactions and loot boxes under the age of 18. However, in countries like the UK, lawmakers are increasingly putting pressure on video games companies to restrict sales to minors. You can learn more about what the industry itself is doing to promote responsible play and prevent underage gambling by viewing the attached video.