In the last ten years, the convergence between iGaming and video gaming has become increasingly evident. The two have been explored separately, among gamers, gamblers and in academia. However, the intersection between them has become more interesting, with the discovery leading to a lot of new questions. How many gamers are also gamblers? And why do gamers decide to venture into iGaming?
The Concept of iGaming
When talking about the concept of iGaming, it may seem confusing to those who are avid gamers, playing games almost daily. Doesn’t video gaming already fall under the umbrella of iGaming?
iGaming is defined as any type of gaming online. This can be everything from computer gaming to quizzes to online gambling; however, the latter is the one most commonly associated with iGaming. Online gambling is any type of betting through an online platform, on an outcome of a game or event, whether it’s a casino-based game or sports betting on a sports match. Therefore, iGaming includes online poker, slot machines and lotteries.
In recent years, iGaming has become increasingly popular, as gamblers are getting more enticed to get no deposit bonus offers and other types of bonuses that they may use to make the most out of their gambling experience at online casinos and betting platforms. Compared to land-based casinos, online casinos offer a lot more promotions to attract gamblers.
What Defines Video Gaming?
Most gamers are well-versed in video gaming, but how many are actually able to define it? Video and computer games are often used interchangeably because they fall under the same genre. Any electronic game with a joystick, controller or keyboard can be defined as a video game. While some of the first video games were on large mainframe computers and consoles, gamers can now access video games on PlayStation, high-tech computers and Xboxes.
In recent years, video gaming has featured different types of assets, like the well-known Fortnite skins, which offer characters from Star Wars and Marvel, like Boba Fett and Doctor Strange. The graphics have changed drastically and become more cutting-edge as technology advances.
Purchasing Gambling Elements
One of the features the two gaming types have in common is the increasing use of gambling elements. In online casinos, we are witnessing a trend of graphics becoming sharper as users increasingly choose casinos by their layout. This is why some online casinos feature slot machines with richer graphics and audio, with creative themes to target specific audiences. An example is an online casino with a nostalgic theme reminiscent of Y2K, which is highly popular among Generation Z.
However, these gambling elements already come with the games, unlike in video games where users often have to buy certain gaming elements such as skins, items and dance moves. While gamblers will play online games based on a specific outcome, gamers can choose to spend on certain assets in the game.
Skills and Success
In online gambling, gamblers get to win by a combination of two things: luck and skill. In some games like slot machines, it mostly comes down to luck, but skill is important in other games like poker. And because of new technology and the intellectualization of casino games, gamblers put more effort into developing a strategy for winning. This is what professional poker players also do. If skills weren’t involved, there would be no meaningful competition at all. Just as in gaming, the most successful gamblers will have to practice and strategize in order to win as much as possible.
Paying to Win
Some would argue that the blurred lines between the two types of gaming also impact the video game communities. Twenty years ago, there wasn’t a big market for buying in-game items to boost a game you’re playing. As a report by Gambling Research Exchange Ontario explains, video game culture is built on a different assumption from iGaming. Gamers would win depending on their skills and strategic thinking.
But because of the new trend of ‘paying to win,’ this challenges the viewpoints of some gamers, as gamers who buy in-game items may be deemed less professional by others.
Gaming has led to an even bigger development in the industry through live streaming. New streamers are popping up all over streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, hoping to become the next star. Some streamers can earn 6-figures – if not more – through advertisements and sponsorships. Because of the success of some streamers, many gamers are also looking into streaming professionally.
And we’ve seen the same influx in streamers who play online casino games such as poker. More players are entering the streaming community making the market saturated.
Players Turning into Gamblers
Because of the similarities between iGaming and gaming, more gamers are shifting towards online gambling. iGaming is invariably a source of entertainment, as many games include some of the same dynamics known from video games. While a poker game might not look as thrilling at first sight, the games can become quite intense as it develops. Furthermore, the games feature great graphics and dazzling characters, reminiscent of well-known games like Fortnite and Call of Duty. Most video games require knowing the rules and navigating the controls. However, casino games have the advantage of being relatively easy to learn, making it easier for beginners to engage in.
As video games increasingly use gambling systems to secure profit, there is the question of ensuring responsible gaming and gambling. When playing at a licensed online casino, the authorities in the country are obligated to supervise and regulate the casino. This also includes measures to protect the personal data of players.
When it comes to gaming, there has been an ongoing discussion about how to keep gaming responsible. Many children and young adults under 18 also engage in gaming, as 91 percent of youth in the US play video games. Therefore, guidelines to maintain healthy habits have been put out.
While gaming can be an entertaining pastime which many people engage in, it can also lead to negative consequences if not approached responsibly. It is estimated that about 10 percent of gamers risk developing problem gambling, and 2-3 percent worldwide struggle with addiction. Whether it is gaming or iGaming, it is crucial to maintain healthy habits. Knowing your limits and never playing based on your emotions are good tips for responsible gaming and gambling.