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UKGC Has a Clear Position on Regulation of eSports
- April 25, 2017 By Riley Wilson -
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released a 17-page report on esports, focused on the existing regulations in this area, and discussing its impact on the British market and the risks it could bring.
The so called ‘position paper’ is quite clear when it comes to regulating esports, saying the same legal framework can be used, since the esports service providers require a license issued by th UKGC, the same one any other gambling provider needs in order to do business in the United Kingdom.
Grey Areas Could Be Risky
The major concern are unlicensed websites, which can encourage minors to gamble. 8.5% of adults in Britain have already wagered on esports, and with many regulatory ‘grey’ areas, esports betting could bring a lot of risks to players.
The commercialisation of esports brings a large increase in betting on these activities. The reports says that 88% of esports gamblers use real money to do so, while 90% uses in-game items. These in-game items are somewhat confusing, since the current law doesn’t specify where interactive entertainment ends and gambling begins.
According to the UKGC, converting in-game items into cash and/or trading them is an activity that can be compared to using casino chips as a mean of payment.
Underage Gambling is Not Such a Risk
Many have voiced concerns regarding the appeal of esports for underage gamblers, but there are others who claims it’s simply a misconception since only 17% of all players are under the age of 20. But, the existing regulations should be enough to protect children and minors in general from gambling at all.
One things is clear – betting on esports doesn’t differ from betting on any other event or activity. There are many uncertainties regarding it, which is understandable since it is something new on the market, but in essence it is pretty much as any other gambling activity. Therefore, the current regulations should do the job quite well.
The UKGC shares the view on this matter, stating the current mechanisms, if applied correctly, will be sufficient to deal with any problem.