Early arcade gamers would put real money on the line by betting on the results of competitive multiplayer games. Therefore, betting real money on a game is as ancient as video games. However, as technology improved and games became more complex, more gambling options were included.

Research shows that there are three main reasons why people like gambling in video games. First, being in charge of your fate means you are not at the mercy of other players or random chance. Also, the sense of being in command makes gambling more enjoyable – after all, you cannot foresee what may happen in a game.

Lastly, people do so for the fun. Whether we are choosing the best platform for playing slot machines at https://online-casinosaustralia.com/free-online-pokies/ or analyzing a live game to determine the winner, one thing is sure — every game inherently invites us to place a stake and push our luck in anticipation of a huge payoff. Also, gamers may not always gamble with money but rather with their time, energy, and social standing.

Without further ado, let’s get into how gambling has impacted the progression of video games.

Loot Boxes

In contemporary gaming, the monetization strategy known as a “loot box” is one of the most widely criticized ways gambling influences the development of video games. Loot boxes first appeared in Western games with the launch of FIFA 09. You may already be acquainted with treasure boxes and how they function. You may even have bought them yourself. But you may not know what they are if you don’t use them in any games.

The loot box is one of the features of current video games. Now, what exactly is a loot box? A loot box, sometimes known as a crate, a chest, or a virtual box, is a kind of in-game item that, when purchased, gives the purchaser random chances of obtaining a specific item or things inside the game. The problem with loot boxes is the low likelihood of receiving a potent item.


You will likely obtain something else that isn’t as valuable. This might lead you to purchase further treasure boxes. There is always the chance you won’t get what you hoped for. Loot box purchases are prevalent among young people. Many other prominent games, especially esports titles, have since included loot boxes into their gameplay, solidifying their position as a popular, albeit controversial, way to merge gambling with video games.

In this case, loot boxes serve as a kind of microtransaction, a term referring to very modest monetary transactions that occur inside digital games and applications. Because real money can be spent on certain loot boxes, they have structural and psychological parallels to gambling.

Skin Betting

TechRaptor estimated that in 2016, CS: GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) skin betting was a $5 billion industry. Specifically, skin gambling entails using unofficial, grey-market websites or platforms to place bets on the outcomes of virtual casino table games like blackjack, roulette, and craps, with the winner or loser receiving (or trading) the skins at stake.

Given the prevalence of online games, it is only natural that passionate players should be able to express their individuality via the use of skins. These are the graphical customization options for characters, weapons, and other game assets. They can be purchased with real money. Some gamers claim to have gained or lost tens of thousands of dollars betting on competitive gaming “skins” because they were able to convert their “skins” into cash.

In the meanwhile, many players find it easy to go from earning and leveraging skins in-game to staking them on these sites due to the seamless integration of this form of betting with competitive games. The fact that skins are fungible digital items makes it easy to compare them to the “chips” used in several casino table games.

Given the grey-market nature of skin betting, research is quite challenging to carry out. Still, skin betting is one-way gambling has influenced video gaming, and it remains a significant phenomenon where gaming and gambling blur.

Esports Betting

The role of gambling in esports and competitive games also now extends to betting on the outcomes of competitive gaming matches. The field of esports is still quite limited but is quickly expanding. The professionalization of esports is a direct result of the expertise required to master certain games.

The act of wagering on an esports event is similar to that of betting on a conventional sport and hence falls within the umbrella of online gambling. As a result of the rise of competitive video gaming betting, many gamers now see gambling as a standard or even a necessary part of the culture surrounding and influencing their competitive video game adventures.

Throughout 2017, the best gamers from games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Hearthstone, and dozens more shared nearly $100 million in prize money. While competitive gaming has been around for decades, the current system of tournaments and rankings has just come into existence within the previous decade. It also sparks discussions regarding the nature of esports and whether gambling corporations should be permitted to sponsor competitions in the same way they support conventional sports events.

Video Games That Feature Gambling

While the points above are ways in which gambling has impacted the evolution of video games and how they are being played, this section here is predicated on games that directly portray gambling in full force.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Action and adventure gamers will like Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2. The gambling minigames in this title range from the easiest to the most enjoyable.


Games like poker and blackjack, common in casinos, are included. Taking place in casinos with a Texas theme, you get to test the waters of poker games where cheating is legal.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

The theme of GTA is vice, and gambling has been a feature of the series since Vice City, when you could wager on street racer events. However, GTA: San Andreas has expanded gambling options, including blackjack, roulette, slot machines, Wheel of Fortune, and video poker.

Fallout: New Vegas

The Primm Vikki, Atomic Wrangler Casino, The Tops, and Ultra-Luxe are just a few of the casinos in this post-apocalyptic setting where you may play classic casino games like blackjack, roulette, and slots. You may also play a game of Lucky Horseshoes in the main Sunset Sarsaparilla building.

Final Thoughts

There was a time when gambling and video gaming seemed and even operated like two completely different industries. However, these days, the difference between gambling and gaming is blurring. While these two areas have increasingly merged in recent years, two things are certain: people have a long history of enjoying gambling and video games, and both activities are here to stay.