The Gambling Commission in the UK released an annual report where they have reportedly, for the first time, looked into a problem known as "skin betting". They've revealed an alarming number of children from ages 11-16 partaking in this form of gambling.
"Skin betting" is typically in a video game where players have a chance to win what is called a "skin" for their weapon or character, which can be turned around and sold to others for real-life money.
According to the BBC, the commission is cracking down on this practice, calling it what they classify as gambling. Additional findings in the report include:
- 45% of 11-16 year-olds were aware of "skin betting"
- 11% of 11-16 year-olds had placed bets using in-game items
- 59% of boys knew about the activity compared with 31% of girls
In response to this, third-party marketplaces like Steam were ordered to assist in fixing the problem.
- Valve ordered to tackle 'skin betting'
- 'Remove gambling ads appealing to children'
- Some students 'have £10,000 gambling debt'
Overall, the estimated total of children 11-16 spending money on gambling in the past week reaches 370,000 in England, Scotland and Wales. Meanwhile, in Belgium, they've recently defined the loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefield 2 to be gambling as well. Although New Zealand recently decided otherwise.