Report: Loot boxes and skin gambling will be making $50bn a year in 2022

Report: Loot boxes and skin gambling will be making $50bn a year in 2022

The loot crate and skin gambling sector will be worth a massive $50bn globally in 2022.

That's according to research from Juniper, which says that in the next five years this market will almost double from the £30bn it's predicted to bring in this year.

The research points out that there can be problems when third-party sites don't regulate gambling on esports matches. Juniper also points out that retailers such a Steam do take a small cut on these skins, so there's a "a reluctance to quell trading".

Skins are acquired both through playing video games and from opening purchased loot boxes," Lauren Foye, author of this research said.

"These items have value depending on rarity and popularity within game communities. On PCs, skins are traded for real money via Steam’s ‘Marketplace’; the platform has 125 million registered users globally.”

Skin gambling has become something of an issue following the 2016 CSGO Lotto scandal, which raised questions about the legality of people below legal age gambling real money on esports matches.

Loot crates were the scandal of 2017, with Star Wars Battlefront II, Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Forza Motorsport 7 coming under fire for their implementation of this monetisation.

Battlefront II, itself a Star Wars game, drew a great deal of ire from both the mainstream press and politicians as well as gambling authorities. The press and political class have been looking into whether loot crates constitute gambling.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.