Video Games: The Gateway to Gambling

Counter-Strike generated $980 million in 2023 using “loot boxes,” a disguised form of unregulated gambling.
February 27, 2024
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Gaming and gambling have been linked forever, but now there is gambling within games.

Valve, the video game publisher behind Counter-Strike, generated $980 million in 2023 by selling loot boxes – mystery boxes that, when opened, payout randomized prizes.

The prizes are cosmetic, such as a colorful skin for your weapon, but hold a monetary value on secondary marketplaces. In April 2023, a player who won an AK-47 Counter-Strike skin & knife sold it to a Counter-Strike collector for $500,000.

Young gamers are gambling for a chance to win rare items they can flip for a return.

While in-game gambling is increasing, the scary thing is gambling activity around gaming is now more prevalent than ever, too:

  • Out of the top 300 Counter-Strike streamers ranked by watch time from January to May 2023, 226 were currently promoting a Counter-Strike gambling website
  • Counter-Strike gambling websites generated 47 million visitors in 2023, nearly 2x the number of visitors as Stake, the largest online gambling website

One way or another, you will be exposed to gambling if you play video games.

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