Are gaming and gambling fundamentally the same? It’s a question that many people will find themselves asking, and there are several reasons why. Both are very popular pastimes for millions of people globally. And in many ways, the lines between the two activities are becoming increasingly blurred. But are they really the same as each other? Or are there some differences that count too?
The answer to the question, in short, is that there are similarities between gaming and gambling, but there are also a ton of differences too. And gaming and gambling continue to collide, and the end result is arguably better than one or the other. What you can be sure of is that there is something for everyone across the two activities.
Starting with gaming, in its purest form, there is no risk of losing money. Even if you’re playing titles inspired by gambling. However, over time, gambling has found itself into the video game equation. You can look at games such as FIFA with the Ultimate Team mode. Players buy packs of cards, not knowing what they’re going to get for the money that they spent.
CS:GO is another game where the lines begin to blur. Players could gamble skins that they could then go on to use when playing. The level of skill a player has can also play a role, as there is now gambling that takes place in competitive gaming, known as esports. But you could also argue that even playing any of the online blackjack games does require a degree of skill and attention.
The most significant difference where gambling is concerned is that a punter is putting their money on the line with there being a chance that they could lose their stake. Yes, they could win more money. But, because the house edge is in place with most, if not all, casino games, and then odds are in play in sports betting, the chances of walking away a winner isn’t always in a gambler’s favour.
However, lines are blurred here, too, as gaming features in gambling. Video slots are, by far and away, the most popular way to gamble out there, primarily online. And the quality of video slots continues to improve. You can now play slots from leading developers such as Microgaming and NetEnt, and they look and feel like video games. It’s quite remarkable to see how far they’ve come in such a short space of time.
Gaming and gambling will always be compared, and there will always be parallels. The lines between the two pastimes will continue to blur too. But, the differences between them arguably make them appealing too. Some people will prefer to game, some will choose to gamble, and others will enjoy the blend of both. It means that all bases are covered, as it’s the people taking part that counts, not the activities themselves.