There’s no denying that digital technology has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few decades, and these advancements have benefited more industries than you might think. Traditionally offline enterprises like shopping and gambling have since utilised this technology to find their place online and have flourished as a result. The gambling industry in particular has benefited from the same advancements in technology as the video gaming industry. Visit any online casino and you’ll see the quality of the games now makes them almost indistinguishable from console and PC games. 

As both the gaming and gambling industries continue to grow side by side, there is a lot of common ground shared in terms of the technology used. Advancements in mobile gaming have directly benefitted both and allowed them to create popular apps which people can download and play on the go. Gaming has also benefitted from gambling in a few ways too. Casino games have always been available as video games, wagering virtual money in virtual settings, but now some major gaming franchises are starting to include the options to gamble within their games. And this hasn’t always gone down well with the video game crowd

Gaming is becoming more like gambling

The relationship between gambling and video games

Loot boxes have become a key feature of many popular games, including Fortnite. These additions make regularly gaming much more similar to gambling.

A major new initiative that has been recently introduced to big-name games such as Fortnite and Fifa is loot boxes. While in-game extras have always been available for purchase with real cash, loot boxes made the headlines because of their unique twist: the content of each loot box is secret and random. Much like buying a pack of football stickers, there are hundreds of different things which could be inside the loot boxes, from common items to legendary rares. Players have no idea what will be inside the box they buy, and as each loot box is priced the same, it is a bit of a gamble as to whether you will get your money’s worth or not.

And that’s the problem, ministers of the UK government are concerned that loot boxes should be reclassified as a gambling product. This is a huge concern, as many are aimed at children and the industry mustn’t be seen to be encouraging gambling behaviour in children. There are worries that children will want to keep buying boxes in search of a prize they want, in the same way that a gambler on a losing streak will keep betting on subsequent hands. This encourages reward-seeking behaviour and could lead to addiction problems in later life.

Gambling provides creative inspiration for gaming

If the gaming industry seems to have made an error in trying to borrow the gambling mechanic, it has had far more success in borrowing gambling games. Many video games offer side quests and mini games – in Witcher 3 players can challenge NPCs to a card game called Gwent, and in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag you can take part in one of three different traditional board games in order to win cash from your opponent – but some games take this to a whole new level.

Grand Theft Auto Online includes an entire playable casino called the Diamond Casino. While it has previously only been part of the background architecture, a recent update lets players venture inside and play all of their favourite casino games including slots, blackjack and poker. Casino chips are bought with in-game currency and there are options to collect daily spins and bonuses. Because no real money is involved – even the game is given away for free with copies of GTA V – it’s a great way for people to enjoy playing casino games without having to risk their capital. However, if players get a taste for poker and want to start playing at online casinos, then there are plenty to choose from and their in-game practises will give them a boost against other entry-level players. A great place to start is somewhere with a great range of different games like 888 Casino, an excellent, well-respected and popular UK online casino.

Gaming is risk free

The relationship between gambling and video games

By being able to play popular gambling games in a risk-free environment, gamers can develop their skills before putting their money on the line.

In this way, the gaming industry benefits the gambling industry by showcasing casino games in a familiar and risk-free environment. People can learn to play the games without risking their own cash, and the interactions between the characters when you play as part of the story makes the game even more exciting. In GTA, the casino experience is optional, but in Red Dead Redemption 2, playing poker becomes an integral part of the storyline, as well as featuring in several optional missions. Playing as a character allows people to take risks and make plays that they wouldn’t feel comfortable doing in real life. And because these games are rated 18, the inclusion of gambling elements is of far less concern to regulators than loot boxes.

The gambling industry also benefits from the video game industry by making use of its popularity. Making online casino games feel like video games, makes them seem a higher quality and broadens their appeal to a new generation of players. This is especially true of online slots. Better graphics have taken the simple spinning reels and augmented them with animations, characters with distinct personalities, and even fully-playable bonus rounds utilising video game styles like shooting games and matching symbols. Even real-life slot machines have been able to implement these changes, making them more like arcade machines than simply slots. They even come in many different themes nowadays because video screens allow the developers to add matching content – this makes the experience more interesting and exciting for the players and keeps them at the machines for longer.


The video game and gambling industries have found themselves a mutually beneficial relationship which is having major payoffs for their customers. Better graphics for online gambling games appeal to the gaming crowd and borrowing casino games and venues for video games adds to the excitement of the game. It looks like this is only going to reap more benefits in the future, and it will be interesting to see what they come up with next.

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