For as long as games like Poker and video game betting has existed, a fierce argument has emerged, debating on how much skill really goes into playing these types of games.
This has often resulted in standoffs, with even the U.S. Government struggling to decide whether Poker counts as a skill-based game or not…
But one area that can’t be disputed is the video game gambling scene – and already, this thriving market is allowing players around the world the chance to pitch their skills (and cash) against other players, in the hope of winning, and scooping a healthy pay-day!
Now this isn’t new, admittedly; eSports (and the ability to bet on the events) have existed for many years, and thanks to the popularity of games such as Halo, the ‘sport’ became popular amongst player around the world – but as more players are discovering the thrills of online gambling, it’s likely we’re going to see a lot more skill-based wagering; although that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.
Pros of Skill Based Gambling
One of the largest benefits of having a facility to wager money on your video gaming skills is the fact that – well, you can do just that. Playing for money adds excitement to the gaming experience, and offers an increased level of adrenaline while playing. For example the introduction of Space Invaders Skill Games in Atlantic City.
It also offers the unmistakable benefit of being able to win – something that’s obviously well-suited for the top players around…
But in many experts’ eyes, the cons far-outweigh the pros.
Cons of Skill Based Gambling
One of the major issues with skill based gambling is licensing problems. Different countries and jurisdictions have different rules about what’s legal, and what’s not (essentially, what’s a skill-based game, and what’s not), and this presents a big challenge, particularly for land-based venues wanting to offer such an event, as they need gambling licensed, in the majority of countries and jurisdictions.
Then, there’s the issue of glamorizing gambling, to kids. Video games are played – increasingly – by a younger demographic, and already, software developers have come under intense criticism for designing many of their video slot games around child-like themes, resulting in some calling on Governments and licensing bodies to regulate the type of material that can be produced!
There are fears that offering real-money skill gambling will enable children, and under-18’s to have a much easier time accessing gambling activities, and it remains to be seen how the operators are going to combat this.
The line blurs even further when you look at some country-specific gambling laws. The UK, for example, prohibits companies from creating their adverts in a way which could be appealing to under-18’s – and up until now, the only way this has been enforced is through what the United Kingdom Gambling Commission deem acceptable. (Working with the ASA, they’ve handed over heavy fines to gambling operators who’ve stepped even slightly over the line.)
While it’s an interesting concept, until operators release more thorough, and comprehensive details on how they plan on structuring skill-based gaming gambling, and lay out a ‘blueprint’ of how it works, and how they’ll ensure it remains responsible, and out of reach of children, it doesn’t look as though we’ll see too many skill-based betting opportunities on the horizon. However, keeping in mind that history has proven the online gaming industry is quite resourceful and single minded; so don’t be surprised to see more and more exciting games being released.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Nerd Stash. An avid gamer since I could walk and can be found in Ashland, KY, where he hopes to find inspiration and uniqueness in life by meeting awesome people, development friendships with companies, and become more nerdy.