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The Fusion of Video Games And Gambling

Gaming existed throughout the history of humankind in one or another form of gambling. The stories of the first-ever betting activities date back to 200 BC in ancient China. Undoubtedly, there has been a strong connection between gaming and the gambling world.

Fast forward to this date, the convergence of casinos and video games is the new normal in the digitally-advanced industry. There’s a reason people commonly consider gambling part of the iGaming industry. Let’s find out.

Gaming vs. Gambling – Know the Difference

Playing without money is online video gaming. The market is brimming with digital games these days. This segment is vast, from role-playing, multi-player, play-to-earn, and mobile to social games. 

On the contrary, gambling covers century-old casino games played by placing real money bets on an uncertain outcome. Usually, these are games of chance, such as slots, roulette, and baccarat. 

That said, casino gaming includes three major elements – money, luck, and a prize. However, skills and strategies are crucial to win interactive video games.

Gambling results are about luck, while online gaming depends on a player’s skill.

What Is Casino Gamification?

With the exponential growth, the gambling industry transitioned into a gamification model. This strategy took traditional gambling to a wholly unique, stimulated experience.

Casino gamification means adding immersive, fun, and rewarding elements to enhance players’ engagement. It may include badges, free spins, bonus prizes, and real money. The goal is to keep gamblers immersed in the casino experience. 

Imagine seeing your name ranking on the leaderboard after winning a specific number of hands at blackjack. This sense of accomplishment encourages gamers to return for more.

Besides, you’ll find several interactive online slot machines inspired by famous video games like Tomb Raider, Resident Evil Jumanji, Hitman, King Kong Cash, and Call of Duty.

Hence, gamification adds significant value to casino gaming, encouraging gamblers to bet more. The fulfilling experience also builds trust between operators and players.

Simply put, gamification aims to inspire, interact, and share.

Narrative Storytelling in Casino Games

Gone are the days when casino gambling worked on hitting a few buttons or levers to win the cash. The new-age casino companies are adding narrative storytelling to the gameplay. The mission and quest-based captivating plots inspire players to gamble frequently.

Hence, gambling satisfaction is no more merely about earning a few bucks.

Role of Technology in the Convergence of Video Gaming and Gambling

It isn’t wrong to admit technology blurred the lines between gaming and gambling activities.

Gaming companies tapped into the gambling market by launching games with rewarding storylines. On the other hand, casino operators leveraged gaming technologies to boost the gambling experience through gamified elements.

Various technologies played an integral role in revolutionizing video and casino gaming ecosystems. It includes Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain. 

For instance, VR-powered games transfer gamers into the virtual world through immersive features. Similarly, VR creates a real-like stimulated environment of traditional casinos. Operators use this technology in their live dealer section, allowing gamblers to interact with dealers and other players betting on online roulette for real money.

Further, game designers now build more sophisticated and adaptable skill-based casino games by harnessing the power of AI. For example, an AI-enabled poker game could make more challenging gameplay based on a gambler’s playing preference and gaming style.

Key Simulated Gambling Elements in Video Games

Like gambling, even simulated gaming contains gambling mechanics. Nowadays, digital game developers add in-app purchasing elements to keep players hooked. You spend real money to buy in-game credits, jewels, gems, or skins to play for longer. 

Check out some in-game gambling features.

  • Virtual goods: Also called skin gambling, players receive virtual assets by completing an exclusive round or buying. It can include weapons, lives, clothing, energies, in-game foods, or character upgrades.
  • Social casino games: The real-world free-to-play casino games that don’t require fiat currency to gamble. You can win in-game virtual coins, cash, or tokens but can’t cash them out.
  • Loot boxes: Mobile games with loot box elements require players to buy unique in-game items with real cash. However, what you’ll win depends on luck.

These virtual assets might be tangible. However, it’s principles of psychology to make the games addictive for players.

The Boom in eSports Gambling Events

The convergence of competitive eSports games and gambling is another rapidly growing segment. The eSports industry grew exponentially with the introduction of betting markets. According to PWC, the US eSports market can reach up to $516M in revenue by 2023. 

Today, multiple sportsbooks host betting events on famous eSports tournaments like S: GO, Dota 2, Fortnite, and League of Legends. 

The eSports gambling concept is the same as the traditional sports market. Professional gamers compete with each other to win championships, while their fans bet on the final result and in-game events. Like sports, you can wager on both head-to-head matches and season-long leagues.

Betting sites also provide various in-play betting options during eSports competitions. Hence, fans can bet on multiple gaming aspects, including the Most Valuable Player (MVP), the number of skills a player will get, and the expected final score.

Further, you can analyze the odds before wagering on any sportsbooks. Since eSports run on machines, it generates a large dataset that provides instant game-related data access to the bookies. So bookmakers quickly update in-play odds with a highly accurate picture of potential outcomes.


  1. How are video games and gambling converging?

Elements like free-to-play digital games, eSports gambling, loot boxes, and in-game items merge video gaming with online gambling.

  1. Do video games lead to gambling?

Video gaming is a source of fun and entertainment. However, playing excessively to earn more rewards is a sign of progress toward video gaming to real money gambling.

Final Words

As technology evolved, both casino games and video games embraced new frontiers. Video game companies leverage unique gambling mechanics into gameplay. Similarly, virtual casinos add exciting gaming features to create a stimulating betting experience. This overlap in both verticals creates gaming-like gambling activities or gambling-like games.

Moreover, the convergence of the two industries opened more exciting opportunities for players, leading to higher engagement. 


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