Skin betting is something real and very dangerous and you might even not know that your child is involved in this. Skin betting is not only dangerous but addictive as well and like gambling, it can lead to severe consequences. Reports show that 370,000 children between 11-16 year are involved in skin betting.
While this is a huge concern, this is not something that governments can get rid of on their own. The help of parents and game platform providers as well as payment gateway providers is needed if this thread is to be eliminated. Which is not something easy to plan out and execute, this will take some time.
Some platform providers are placing safeguards but that is not effective if parents and payment gateway providers are not on the same page. We need more layers of security in order to keep youngsters from skin betting.
What Are Skins, Skin Betting And How All This Works
Skins are items that change the appearance of weapons on game. These skins can also be applied to gear like armor and jeans and whatnot. For example, if you have an assault rifle then this can be skinned to a golden gun or any other color of your choice depending on the color and type of skin. Some skins are rare while others are common.
These skins can drop from in-game activities and in some cases, they can also be bought. As you would expect the rare skins are sold for higher prices as compared to the ones that are common. Some games let you trade, buy and sell skins and there are sites that allow you to gamble using these skins. Some sites also allow you to gamble skins and then convert these skins into real money and so you can see what the problem here is.
According to Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the Gambling Commission:
“Because of these unlicensed skin betting sites, the safeguards that exist are not being applied and we’re seeing examples of really young people, 11 and 12-year-olds, who are getting involved in skin betting, not realising that it’s gambling.
At one level they are running up bills perhaps on their parents’ Paypal account or credit card, but the wider effect is the introduction and normalisation of this kind of gambling among children and young people.”
People that are involved in this type of gambling are kids and in most cases do not know what they are doing. They might even be using their parents’ credit cards and what not in order to pay for these skins and indulge in skin betting.
For the first time, gambling commission prosecuted people that were running gaming gambling sites that also involved skin betting.
Why Is Skin Betting Such A Huge Issue
It is easy to see that younger kids can fall prey to skin betting without even knowing that they are doing something wrong. Furthermore, older people are also doing this and it has been noted that people are struggling to pay for food and other necessities because they are prioritizing skin betting over food and other essentials of life.
According to Bangor University student Ryan Archer who started skin betting at the age of 15 and now 4 years later is in college:
“I’d get my student loan, some people spend it on expensive clothes, I spend it on gambling virtual items. There have been points where I could struggle to buy food because this takes priority.”
While these items have no effect on in-game performance and are for cosmetic use, they do give owners bragging rights and this is something that is worth it in the gaming community, or at least that is the mindset for most people. Ryan further went on to say that:
“It’s hard to ask your parents for £1,000 to buy a knife on CSGO (the multiplayer first-person shooter game Counter Strike: Global Offensive), it’s a lot easier to ask for a tenner and then try and turn that into £1,000.”
While there are laws that protect minors from indulging in traditional betting and gambling there is little to no rules and regulations when it comes to skin betting. With the new loot crate controversy, more people are looking into gambling in games and into skin betting as well.
Let us know what you think about skin betting and what you think can be done in order to prevent minors from indulging in such activities.