A prosecution case involving gambling on video games is underway for what is believed to be the first time in the UK.
Youtube video gamers, Dylan Rigby and Craig Douglas, have both been charged under the Gambling Act 2005 with advertising unlawful gambling on their sites.
Douglas has also been charged with inviting children to gamble.
Warning to parents
The prosecution is being brought by the UK Gambling Commission, which has recently been examining the rise of video game gambling.
The Commission is warning parents that children can be drawn into ‘skin betting’, in which players have the option of gambling with virtual goods they have bought online.
“We are paying close attention to the growing popularity of virtual or ‘in-game’ items, which can be traded, sold or used as virtual currencies to gamble,” a Gambling Commission spokesperson said.
“If GB-based players are being invited to gamble with money or money’s worth then this requires an operating licence.”
Rigby and Douglas’ case has been adjourned until tomorrow.
The worldwide video game betting market is estimated to be worth as much as £4 billion.
Last month, a study found that online gambling among teenagers is on the rise.
A study of 96,000 school children across 35 countries in Europe found that gambling was increasing among children aged 15 and 16.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (ESPAD) found that gambling has “the same potential to become addictive as psychoactive substances”.
The study called adolescent gambling a “major public health concern”, stated that it could lead to strained relationships, criminal behaviour, mental disorders, and a greater risk of suicidal thoughts.