Thousands of kids are making a bet hundreds of thousands of kilos on the consequences of fits performed with the aid of professional video game enthusiasts on unlicensed playing web sites.
The teenagers are using “skins” as a digital currency, which may be won or bought in game and act as cosmetic enhancements to a player’s character, along with camouflage for a gun or a brand new fit of armour.
More than £five billion worth of “skins” had been guess globally in 2015, The Times reports.
The virtual foreign money is then wager on the outcome of matches between gamers in “eSports” competitions in video games inclusive of Counter-Strike: Worldwide Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends.
One website, CS:GOLounge, reportedly took Greater than £800 million in “skin” bets final 12 months. Five in step with cent of traffic to the Costa Rica-primarily based site came from the UK.
A 3rd 0.33 of its traffic had been under 18, suggesting British youngsters wager Extra that £12 million on the site in 2015.
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The gambling Commission has expressed its challenge and published a consultation paper outlining which activities want to be licensed and which do now not.
“We’re involved approximately virtual currencies and ‘in-recreation’ items, which can be used to gamble,” Neil McArthur, preferred counsel on the gambling Commission, informed The Instances.
“Any operator wishing to provide centers for gambling, together with gambling the usage of digital currencies, to clients in Excellent Britain should hold an operating licence.
“Any operator who’s presenting unlicensed gambling ought to stop — or face the effects.
“We expect operators providing markets on eSports to manipulate the dangers — which include the large risk that children and young people may additionally try to wager on such occasions given the developing recognition of eSports with people who are too younger to gamble.”
Valve Software program, who made Counter-Strike, are actually trying to crack down on “pores and skin” betting.
Criminal action has been taken within the US against the game developer and numerous web sites, alleging Valve made income from transactions associated with gambling.
The case additionally accuses British vlogger Tom Cassel, recognised by way of his username “Syndicate,” of “actively promoting [CSGOLotto] as a gambling service, consisting of to minors”.
In advance this week, CS:Move Front room closed its virtual betting after a quit and desist letter.