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UK Gambling Commission says 11% of 11-16 year-olds have used skin-betting sites, but less than 1% are problem gamblers

UK Gambling Commission says 11% of 11-16 year-olds have used skin-betting sites, but less than 1% are problem gamblers

The United Kingdom's Gambling Commission's annual report gives an insight into the in-game gambling habits of young adults in the country.

The report says that 11 per cent of 11-16 year-olds have gambled with video game skins, in a brand new section that looks at gambling within video games. In total, 0.9 per cent of 11-16 year-olds were deemed 'problem gamblers', though that's across the entire report and isn't limited to games. Meanwhile, 1.3 per cent are at risk and 15.5 per cent are non-problem gamblers.

Just 45 of children in this age bracket knew that it was possible to gambling with these items; broken down by gender, 59 per cent of boys were aware, almost double the 31 per cent of girls who were.

Predictably, as the children became older it was increasingly likely they would gamble in-game. Three per cent of 11 year-olds asked had done this, compared to 14 per cent of 14-16 year-olds.

This was from a panel of 2,621 respondents. 

"The Gambling Commission takes the view that the ability to convert in-game items to cash, or to trade them (for other items of value) means they attain a real-world value and become articles of money or money’s worth," the report said.

"Where gambling facilities are offered to British consumers, including with the use of in-game items that can be converted into cash or traded (for items of value), a gambling licence is required. Tackling operators making gambling facilities available to children is one of the Gambling Commission’s priorities. This has been demonstrated by action taken against unlicensed websites providing facilities for gambling using in-game items as methods for payment.

Note that this does not tie into the loot crate-gambling controversy that has been talking in the games media, though no doubt that will feature in the gambling body's report next year.

Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched PCGamesInsider.biz in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.

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