Skin betting: 'Children as young as 11 introduced to gambling'

Skin betting: 'Children as young as 11 introduced to gambling'

The report states that, "based on the description provided within the questionnaire", 45 percent of children aged 11-16 knew about skin gambling, and 11 percent said they had placed bets with in-game items at some point in the past.

Speaking to the BBC, Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said: "Because of these unlicensed skin betting sites, the safeguards that exist are not being applied and we're seeing examples of really young people, 11 and 12-year-olds, who are getting involved in skin betting, not realising that it's gambling". Skin betting is a medium that allows players of virtual games gamble game-related items as currency. Skin betting is now popular among some video games players, who can sell them or turn them into real money. When it does come to gaming the report states that 11% of those questioned have claimed to have taken part in gambling with in game items either in online titles or gaming apps. However, such games usually do not feature the same level of protection as regulated gambling products.

In its report released today, the Gambling Commission stated that the crack down on the industry had to be made a top priority.

Around 25,000 children between 11 and 16 are problem gamblers, with many introduced to betting via computer games and social media, according to a new report that has prompted warnings that the United Kingdom is "sleepwalking into a future public health storm". The organization conducted a survey taking a representative sample of 2803 children between the ages of 11 and 16 who said they were users of video games.

It's the ability to convert in-game items into cash that denotes the activity as gambling for the purposes of the report, rather than the actual conversion itself-the fact that the skins could be converted into cash, not whether they actually were. That puts gambling with skins and other cosmetics in the ballpark of how often children in the survey admitted to playing some form of physical slot machine in the previous week.

Earlier this year, the Gambling Commission, for the first time, prosecuted people for running an unlicensed gambling website connected to a video game.


Sometimes skins can be earned within a game, but they can also be bought with real money.

Craig Douglas, a prominent gamer known as Nepenthez, and his business partner Dylan Rigby, were fined £91,000 ($112,000) and £164,000 respectively after admitting offences under the UK's Gambling Act.

Some games providers have put more safeguards in place, but numerous sites are based overseas.

"When we talk to people about skin gambling, we normally get a look of complete confusion".

The Office for National Statistics will publish the research, carried out by the Gambling Commission.

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