Teenagers Are Spending Thousands Of Dollars To Gamble On Counter-Strike

By Samantha Finch, Parent Herald May 31, 05:00 am

Gambling is not just about cards and chips anymore. Gamers are also shelling out huge amounts of money on intangible accessories and virtual weapons.

"Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" is one of those games where players, particularly teenagers, risk money for virtual weapons called skins, ABC reported. While playing the game, players will be able to obtain skins and gamble the weapon on hundreds of unregulated third-party websites of their own choosing.

Afterwards, skins can be used as betting chips for black jack, coin flip and roulette. The skins' value depends on how rare they are, and prices usually go beyond $2,000.

Teenagers Risking Money

Gambling skins is common among teenage gamers in Australia. Some teens resort to stealing their parents' credit cards and gamble money as high as $1,800. The young people said the gambling was just minimal at first, with only their friends involved. Things, however, spiraled out of control when the stakes increased and the gambling got worse.

Skins gambling has raised concerns among betting websites. Unikrn founder Rahul Sood said teenagers have easy access to virtual gambling because there are no regulations and oversight implemented, so anyone from all ages can easily place bets. He said game developers should coordinate with operators in order to establish reins on teenage gambling, ABC further reported.

Dr. Sally Gainsbury, an expert in online gambling from Southern Cross University, said internet gambling in Australia already exists even before Facebook soared to popularity. There are regulations in place for internet gambling, but those have been outdated.

Smartphones Encourage Online Gambling

Nowadays, it's rare to see anyone without a smartphone on their hand. Young people, especially millennials, are even using the convenience of smartphones to play on online casinos.

Online casino operators are taking advantage of this new trend by designing games that will specifically appeal to millennials' interests, CardPlayer.com reported. 888 Casino, for instance, found that young people will likely use smartphones instead of a computer screen for gambling because the former is more convenient and is suitable for their on-the-go lifestyle.

Online fantasy sports games are also a hotbed for virtual gambling. Fantasy sports—now a multimillion dollar industry—may include imaginary teams, but this doesn't mean that real money isn't involved. Fantasy sports websites allow players to deposit money every day into accounts and bet against each other virtually, according to Blasting News.

U.S. states have already passed laws to regulate online fantasy sports. That includes Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia. Other states—California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina—may soon follow.

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