GTA Online – Is it an innocent video game or unregulated gambling?
Up until this week the answer would be gaming, 100% of the time.
However, a few days ago Rockstar released a fully-fledged casino into their already bustling world of GTA online.
This wouldn’t usually be a problem for an 18+ game except it’s pretty clear, if you spend any amount of time on the game, that it’s inhabited my children. Similar to dangerous apps, video games can also be dangerous when they include activities like gambling.
I don’t think I need to tell you that introducing kids to gambling is a bad idea. But if you had any doubts, a ton of research has been done on the subject.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the studies done on simulated gambling and young people:
1. Simulated gambling leads to real-life gambling
2. Simulated gambling normalizes gambling behavior
3. Simulated gambling increases your risk of problematic gaming or gambling
Hungry for more? Here are some great studies to read.
- Online gaming and gambling in children and adolescents – Normalising gambling in cyber places
- Do Social Casino Gamers Migrate to Online Gambling?
- The cost of virtual wins: An examination of gambling-related risks in youth who spend money on social casino games
As you can see, the research speaks for itself.
However, due to outdated gambling laws this casino doesn’t technically count as gambling. Simply because you can’t earn real money.
You heard that right.
That’s the loophole of dated gambling laws gaming companies are exploiting for the purpose of skyrocketing profits.
By allowing you to purchase in-game currency with real money, but not allowing you to withdraw your earnings back into the real world, they give you a simulated gambling experience and profit off of your compulsion.
The House really does win every time.