Underage Gambling Lured Through Social Media

There is a new danger that authorities in England are looking to make parents aware of, and that is video game gambling in its various forms. The modern gaming market now has a myriad of virtual currencies, eSports and other similar features which can easily allow for gambling either in-game or through 3rd party ‘auction’ sites. The Gambling Commission there is looking to help put a stop to this peril which could be creating children with gambling problems funded by unaware parents.

The primary issue is that there has been for some time now an assortment of in-game items or currencies which can be traded and sold for cash to the right buyer. This monetization of items means that there is incentive for players to seek these items and then try to gamble for better ones or game the system through other such ploys.

The eSports revolution is also creating a whole new market for gambling on the outcome of these competitive video game events, and the commission wants to insure that everything is legal and fair in that respect as well.

The paper has been written and the study has been done in order to better determine the demographics of the individuals who have admitted to gambling on such eSports events.

This information is going to be useful for the commission as they look for ways to better monitor and regulate this smaller but growing aspect of gambling. For example, the findings show that a greater percentage of the participants are men and that the 25-24 years old range is the most susceptible to the emerging eSports gambling phenomena.

While that segment of the population is certainly going to be more closely scrutinized for their gambling behavior, the primary concern is mostly in relation to underage gambling through these platforms. In many cases the parents may be oblivious to the fact that in-game gambling and bartering is even possible, and as such they may be contributing to the problem totally unaware. As well, the investigations are continuing to look at 3rd party gambling websites where in-game items are used as a form of payment. For example, when Diablo 3 hit the scene it was such a hit that an “Echoing Fury Legendary Mace” sold for around $16k. With prices like that for similar items in newer games, there will always be a market for shady and underground measures of obtainment.

One of the most serious cases processed thus far was in relation to a website called FUTGalaxy where there was massive commerce going on for the in-game items of FIFA soccer game cards and players. This case showed the social media aspect as well where children could easily be lured into the dark alleys of the internet through targeting on these platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In general, anyone running one of these 3rd party sites should be prepared to face the commission soon as they intend on ramping up their over-watch and checking into any that are based in their country are target their population.

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