It is not often talked about, but gambling addiction is a major issue in the UK.
Last year, YouGov research estimated that up 1.4 million people could be “problem gamblers” with addictions that harm themselves and others. Even more worryingly, the Gambling Commission (2018) believes that 50,000 of these problem gamblers are children.
Although gaming and gambling are separate activities, the link between them is well-established. Many games offer micro-transaction services which function very much like slot machines. A common model is the “loot box”, which costs real money and provides a random selection of in-game items.
These gambling-adjacent business models often net companies as much as four times more revenue than purchases of the game itself.
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