Video Games & Gambling

This months Nerdy Nugget was inspired by an invitation Satellite Gaming received to host a table at a Marion County gambling awareness event. Our education director, Dylan J, spent some time researching the topic and put together a few things he thought might help our community navigate through this topic. Toward the bottom we provide 6 quick tips that could be a resource for you and your family. Enjoy!


Categories of Video Game Gambling

Casino/Simulation Gambling Games

There are plenty of games available for mobile devices, consoles, and computers that allow a player to experience the look and feel of real gambling as in a casino, but simulated. Currency can be something provided as part of the game, purchased in packs, delivered at regular intervals, etc.


A lootbox is a reward provided in a game for completing an objective, or even randomly. The rewards vary from cosmetic changes for a character or items to in-game advantages for the player. The reward is random with more valuable items being more rare. Some lootboxes are free to open, while some cost money to open. Lootboxes are often compared to gambling because players exchange money for an unknown outcome.

Gambling with Virtual Goods

Some platforms allow for the purchase, sale, and trade of virtual goods. Some goods can only be obtained through lootboxes, but can then be traded or exchanged for other items of value or even real money. Some external sites have allowed for gambling with these virtual goods.


What are the risks?

Virtual gambling can introduce kids to gambling elements, normalizes the activity, and can be addictive in itself.


What can parents do to keep their kids safe?


Here are 6 quick tips for keeping your kids safe when it comes to the relationship between gaming and gambling


Discuss the Risks

  • Talk with your child about gambling and gambling-like features in video games and encourage them to reach out when they need to.

Keep Passwords Safe

  • Don’t share your passwords with your children and know which games they’re playing.

Monitor Credit Card Activity

  • Keep an eye on your credit card statements and watch for unaccounted for charges from digital platforms.

Ask Your Child

  • Ask your child what they think is best when handling gambling-like features in games. It empowers them to do the right thing.

Play the Game Yourself

  • Check the game out yourself. You’ll be able to tell if the game is unsuitable for your child or not pretty quickly.

Use Parental Control Features

  • Utilize parental control features on mobile devices and consoles to limit access to purchasing options, content ratings above their age, and even set time limits.