Experts Warn of ‘Predatory’ Gambling in Video Games Targeting Children

Experts are warning that “predatory” payments in massively popular video games like Hearthstone and Fortnite are comparable to betting but are not regulated and may cause young people to develop addictions and financial difficulties.

Following the World Health Organization’s recognition of gaming addiction, psychologists have called attention to what they call the “increasing similarity of gaming and gambling” in what has quickly expanded into a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry.

In-game micropayment 

Players use real money on loot boxes where they can purchase rare items or enhance their characters and weapons in order to stay competitive.


Dr. Daniel King and Professor Paul Delfabbro of the University of Adelaide write in an editorial that was published in the journal Addiction mentioning that these schemes could motivate some individuals who have access to debit cards to use up more money than they can afford.


Games that need real money transactions

Fortnite, the immensely popular survival shoot-’em-up.Players can enter a campaign to play with friends and use the game’s “V-Buck” currency to buy amusing llama loot piatas, which offer a random gift

Another game is Hearthstone, an internet-based card game from the makers of World of Warcraft, Blizzard. Players can purchase sets of cards with a random assortment of unusual characters or skills to compete against other players.

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