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Skins Gambling and the Risks Involved

By Ed Becker in Sports
| January 15, 2018 12:00 am PDT
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When you go to a brick-and-mortar casino, the first thing you need to do before you gamble is head to the cashier cage to convert your local currency into casino chips. I know I know, slot machines don’t take casino chips, but work with me here.

Casino chips are technically worth money, because they can be traded back in for real money when you are done using them. In the video game world, you can trade virtual items known as “skins” for real money in the same manner, which essentially turns them into casino chips. An example of one of the most popular games that features skin betting is Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

That’s right folks, I just said that video game items or “skins” can be traded in for real money. If this was a thing back when Super Mario was popular for the original Nintendo, I would have a pocket full of gold coins by now, and the princess would not be in another castle.

Skins can be earned either by unlocking them with your play or paying for them with real money. There are plenty of websites designed to facilitate gambling with these video game skins. These sites allow you to gamble your skins for a chance to win a skin that is even more rare and expensive than the one you are risking.

How Does Skins Gambling Affect Children?

As you can imagine, skins gambling has become a giant sensation amongst kids in the video game world. Nearly all kids are in the video game world, thanks to sites like Youtube and Twitch allowing professional and entertaining players to stream themselves playing these games on a daily basis.

It is a worldwide phenomenon that kids these days like to watch other people play video games. All of this time watching entertainers play certain games eventually makes these kids want to play the games themselves.

In a recent study done by the Gambling Commission in Great Britain, they found that twelve percent of kids between the ages of eleven and sixteen years old had gambled in some form or another in the week prior to the poll. Even though this number is down slightly from a year ago, this is still an alarming number of children who are exposed to gambling at such a young age.

Anytime you have a method of gambling that is available for children and is simultaneously very popular for children, there are going to be some problems that arise.

Some children have reportedly gotten themselves over €10,000 in debt simply from gambling with video game skins.

It is tough for skins betting sites to enforce the age limit laws because it is the internet, and you never really know if a child is behind the keyboard or not. The video games can’t exactly impose an age restriction either, because their main audience is children who are not old enough to be gambling.

When Do You Know You Have a Skins Gambling Problem?

Most kids who partake in skins gambling are too young to even realize that they are gambling. Most adults have a hard time admitting that they have a gambling problem, so a child is definitely going to have a hard time doing it. For this reason, I will now list some of the ways that you can identify whether you have a skins gambling problem, so that anyone who reads this will be able to decide for themselves.

One of the first signs that you have a skins gambling problem is if anytime you receive some money, no matter if it is a gift or a paycheck, you instantly want to buy skins with it.

Anytime a form of gambling completely takes over your life and the way that you perceive money, you might need some special help.

Another sign that you have a skins gambling problem is if you are betting money that you desperately need in real life, such as rent money, in the hopes of landing a really rare and expensive skin. This sort of behavior is not logical and is a sure sign of someone who is in need of some gambling help. Normally, people set aside the money that is needed for necessities and they do not even consider touching it for recreational or gambling purposes.

A third common trait among people who are addicted to skins gambling is found in those who want to take a break, but they can’t get themselves to do it for any reasonable period of time. Once a form of gambling takes over your self-control and makes you powerless to resist, the hook is stuck very deep, and you are definitely going to need some professional help.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Family?

Most skins gambling sites are unlicensed and unregulated, essentially offering illegal forms of gambling to anyone with money. Luckily, the Gambling Commission that oversees gambling operations all over the internet has become aware of this skins gambling phenomenon. Earlier in 2017, the Gambling Commission prosecuted their first website for running an illegal skins operation, and they do not plan on stopping anytime soon.

However, the fact that some companies are fighting to protect the children does not mean that no one else has to put any effort into the battle. It is still up to the parents and guardians to remain watchful of what their children are doing in their spare time and to make sure they are not becoming addicted to something that is as vicious as skins gambling.

Wrap-Up

There are many ways for someone to gamble in this world, but skins gambling is one of the few ways that children have unlimited access to. Most kids and parents do not even see skins gambling as a problem, because they are dealing with virtual items from a video game. However, this is exactly like gambling with chips in a casino, and should not be taken lightly.

Even though the industry is slowly taking more action to protect these children from an addiction that they do not yet understand, it is still important for parents or guardians to educate their kids and watch them closely to make sure there are not any major problems brewing.

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