As the world of esports and video games continues to grow and gain popularity, there has been an ongoing debate about whether or not these activities should be considered as forms of gambling. Many politicians and lawmakers have spoken out on this topic, arguing that esports and gaming should be treated in the same way as traditional gambling practices. However, these claims are completely wrong, and in this article, we will explore why.
Firstly, it is important to understand what gambling actually is. Gambling involves wagering money or something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning additional money or material goods. In essence, gambling is all about taking risks and trying to predict the outcome in order to make a profit.
However, the same cannot be said for video games and esports. While there may be some games that involve elements of luck or chance, the vast majority of these activities are based on skill and strategy. Players may be able to improve their performance and win more games by practicing and honing their skills, but there is no way to guarantee a win or a profit.
Moreover, unlike gambling, video games and esports do not involve any form of monetary investment or risk. While there may be some gamers who spend money on in-game purchases or equipment, these expenses are completely voluntary and do not directly affect a player’s ability to participate in the activity.
Additionally, the purpose of video games and esports is primarily for entertainment and competitive play, whereas the primary purpose of gambling is to make money. While players may be able to earn prizes or rewards for their performance in video games and esports, these prizes are not the main driving force behind these activities.
Politicians who argue for treating esports and gaming like gambling often do so because of concerns around addiction and underage participation. However, these concerns are not unique to these activities and can be addressed through other means, such as age verification and responsible gaming initiatives.
Finally, it is important to recognize the cultural significance of video games and esports. These activities have become an important part of modern-day society, with millions of people around the world participating and enjoying them regularly. Treating them like gambling would not only be inappropriate but would also be a disservice to the millions of gamers and esports enthusiasts who have worked hard to grow and legitimize these activities.
In conclusion, politicians who argue for treating esports and video games like gambling are completely wrong. These activities are fundamentally different from gambling and do not involve any form of monetary risk or investment. Additionally, they serve a different purpose and have become an important part of modern-day society. It is important for lawmakers to recognize these distinctions and approach esports and gaming in a way that respects their unique nature.
The UK parliamentary select committee in charge of scrutinising finance has called for cryptocurrency trading to be regulated in the same way as gambling. The report argues that digital assets such as bitcoin have “no intrinsic value, huge price volatility and no discernible social good”. While this comparison might be appropriate in some contexts, it fails to understand that intrinsic value can derive from a network. Many alternative valuation methodologies have been developed to value such networks, meaning that cryptocurrencies do have underlying assets of value. However, treating crypto trading as gambling would also mean taking a risk-based approach that focuses on mitigating downside risks, which might be at the expense of potential upside opportunities. The UK government has said it does not agree with the Treasury select committee that crypto trading should be treated like gambling and has outlined new principles to regulate crypto trading, which would treat these assets in a similar way to shares or bonds. However, the UK’s approach to crypto regulation is cautious, given the economic existential importance of “what is money” and how it is used within an economy. Nonetheless, it’s surely right not to treat crypto trading like gambling, as gambling over time is the road to ruin for the player – the house always wins. In crypto, however, there is no “house” but rather a value proposition which may or may not come to fruition.