Video games and gambling will always be linked. New technology that drives video game improvements eventually influences slot games. This was illustrated perfectly by the digital revolution. In the early 1990s CGI began to become prevalent, computer graphics were entering a new era and this technology helped produce a sea change across the entertainment world at

The Digital Revolution and Video Slots 

Films like Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park hit global Cinemas and introduced audiences to a brave new digital world where anything and everything was possible. This huge leap in technology was also hitting the computer games industry as games designers began to experiment with the vast new technology available to them. 

In 1996 the first online casino hit the internet and although it just offered classic table games, the potential for development was huge. When the first video slot landed that utilized the technology from video games, the result was dynamite. 

Although the first online casino only offered casino table games to punters, it was still a hit. Then the addition of these new video slots sent the popularity of virtual casino through the roof. 

More online casinos opened to keep up with public demand and more video slots were needed to fill these platforms. In fact, video slots became so popular that design houses began to crop up, that only created video slots for casinos. These companies were full of digital artists who had video game backgrounds and they brought their design talents and expertise to the slots world. 

Now we have slot games that mimic video games both in themes and gameplay. Characters come to life and some slots even have narratives like their video gaming cousins. 

The difference here is that video games still have an edge over slots when it comes to graphics, but video slots offer the added attraction of gambling to gamers. Therefore, the two cross over with great ease. 

New tournaments also link money with gaming even if it is not directly seen as a form of gambling it is however, gaming for money. 

Fortnite World Cup 

You may not be aware of the Video game called Fortnite. However, you may be aware that a 16 year-old, American boy received $3 million in prize money after winning a competition based around the popular video game. This online game is thought to attract over 200 million players across the world and he came out on top. 

In Fortnite, players are left on an isolated island where they have to search for weapons and other resources to advance through the game levels. The aim is to kill all other islanders off and be the lone survivor. Players can battle as individuals or in teams. The game is free to play but interestingly, items for the game can be brought with real cash. 

Kyle Giersdorf from Pennsylvania was declared the winner in New York City to the delight of his parents. Epic Games the creators of Fortnite also organized the competition and named it the Fortnite World Cup. Up to 15,000 people attended the event at New York’s Arthur Ashe tennis centre. 

What this tournament reinforced is the link between money and video games and with more young people than ever playing these, including many females these could become the gamblers of the future. 

Whether through more competitions or a natural move to slot games, a generation of gaming enthusiasts, in whatever form their gaming takes, is being created. It can be argued that this is the next generation of video slot gamers and developers. 

The Loot Box Craze 

Recently, a new craze has developed because of the popularity of video games. A lot of children are glued to consoles and other devices playing games for much of their free time. Parents also use these games as pacifiers so that they can get their own chores done in peace. 

They may think that their children are playing games similar to what they used to do back in their own childhood, so may not be familiar with loot boxes. These are basically virtual boxes a player can buy in a game that contain virtual weapons and other items that aid the player to successfully negotiate the levels of each game. 

The problem here is that loot boxes can be brought with real or virtual cash and although they are not expensive, repeat purchases or the buying of bundles can soon all add up. Stories of children using their parents debit and credit cards to buy loot boxes are rife, as children hunt for the boxes containing the perfect combination of items they need, to progress through the game. 

Some children are thought to have become addicted to hunting for the perfect loot box and now the powers that be want these games to be classed as gambling video games. A survey by the UK Gambling Commission that took place in 2018 discovered that 31% of children aged between 11-16 had brought loot boxes with real cash. 

The repercussions of this report have led many concerned bodies to include loot box games, as games involving gambling that should not be exempt from the UK Gambling Act. The fear here is that they encourage gambling behaviour or can influence such behaviour as the child reaches the legal gambling age. This can lead to certain vulnerable individuals quickly becoming gambling addicts. 

Final Thoughts 

Video games and gambling goes hand in hand and both worlds often collide. The gambling industry depends on advances in video games for its own fast-moving slots industry. Video games are extremely addictive and when you add gambling into the equation in the form of slots, they become more so. 

An ideal solution would be to remove the money link from video games, as they are available for all ages to play, unlike slots. However, loot boxes and huge video game tournaments involving cash prizes muddy the waters and can lead to a future generation hooked on both video games and gambling.

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