Convergence of Gaming and Gambling

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Regulators are turning some attention to an interesting phenomenon: gambling and gaming are starting to merge. This is raising concern as both gaming and gambling can be addictive and such products, services, and platforms present the risk of user vulnerability.

Different aspects of this merging are being studied. Still, it is a somewhat recent phenomenon whose broader context has yet to be assessed.

This article will look at critical areas of inquiry connected to the merging of gambling and gaming, including definitions and framework, risk, the response of legislators, and drivers.


Definitions and Framework

Gaming and gambling are not dissimilar concepts. Sometimes, they’re used interchangeably. There is an important difference: gaming takes skill to achieve positive results. With gambling, you’re relying on luck or chance.

How do you achieve a positive outcome when the two have converged? Obviously, you need a little bit of both. Many games have gambling components, and gambling platforms have gaming components. Stakeholders have developed a framework to tell the difference as both gaming and gambling components have skyrocketed in popularity.

The Benefits of Merging

The convergence may have risks, but it’s not without benefits too. Websites like PlayCanada, which provide comprehensive guides to legal, live, and online gambling, as well as mobile gaming platforms, have changed the way online gambling operates.

They give casino operators, app producers, and other stakeholders reliable ways to inform and serve users globally. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find an online casino launching without considering apps and mobile access.

Both gaming and gambling have become more exciting post-convergence. The number of people participating in the niches has increased too. However, the real effect of convergence has not been fully established, and further research is needed.

Convergence Examples

Two examples are playing casino games on social networks and video games that allow players to make bets. Another example is so-called loot box video games, where some features of the game require additional payment.

Game-show-themed devices are an obvious example of game-like gambling. They are different from pure gambling in that they introduce the element of skill. Other machines come with a function that involves the need for a certain skill. According to researchers, these features draw and sustain the interest of younger players.

Other Differences

Gambling involves wagering an asset on a certain event with an unpredictable outcome in its purest form. There are three typical elements here: risk, reward, and consideration. The risk comes from relying on chance or luck. The reward is a valuable asset, usually money. The consideration is the bet itself.

There’s a lot more variety where gaming is concerned. There are all kinds of genres and types. You can play games on your desktop or mobile. They can be electronic, console-based, or digital. They can even include board games. Games on social networks involve social play or roleplay.

After reading this clarification, gaming might seem far more complicated than gambling. This is indeed the case, and experts have tried to categorize games. They’ve come up with four categories: competitive games, chance- or luck-based games, simulation, and vertigo. The first two types are crucial in the combination of skill, chance, and luck.


As mentioned, the merging of gaming and gambling is not without risk. Platforms that combine gaming and gambling are driven by technological advances and commercial interest.

Many operators offer people free bets, no-deposit bonuses, or other perks to attract their interest. It’s all too easy to move from ‘free’ betting, where you wager virtual funds, to wagering real money and losing it.

Lawmakers are turning attention to potential issues. As the evidence of risk and harm is limited, legislators are not scrambling to impose restrictions on gambling-gaming hybrids yet.

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