The world of gambling has become more accessible than ever with many of us turning to our mobile phones as our portable gaming hub, the accessibility has led to online betting and gambling becoming one of the most popular genres for mobile gaming and leading to what has been considered to be an online gambling pandemic. The growth seen has also led to changes to prevent an increase in numbers as initiatives such as Gamstop put in place as a self-exclusion scheme to help problem players, despite this operators have found ways to continue offering their services as games here at Max Casinos are available outside of the gamstop regulation – and now eyes are turning to another pseudo-gambling industry, the growing loot box market, but big changes had already been put in place in 2016 that saw the fall of a $7.4 billion market.
The popular esports title, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, saw the explosion of a in-game cosmetics market back in 2013 after the launch of an update that saw the launch of loot boxes for unique cosmetics in-game and the launch of a marketplace that could have players buy and sell these cosmetics – whilst the marketplace couldn’t be used to money outside of the marketplace as any sale was tied to funds that couldn’t be withdrawn, it did lead to the launch and growth of a third-party market for buying and selling for real currency, but more than that it led to the launch of a betting empire that used these cosmetic skins as a currency.
With the marketplace value for some of these items quite set, and no other existing online betting market at the time, there had been a space left wide open for this gambling empire to thrive and between 2014 and 2016 much of the betting done for Counter-Strike had been done through skin betting, at the same time another market for trading and betting the skins against other players in duels and random raffles was also starting to grow, by the time the game developer took legal action to cull the growth due to a number of more dangerous sites appearing and match-fixing scandals within the game itself, the total market value for skin betting and trading had reached an estimated $7.4 billion, and as such it’s little surprise that many of the bigger gambling operators decided it was time to enter the growing betting scene, but in a more legitimate and traditional way.
Loot boxes as a whole have become a bit of an unofficial gambling approach that many game designers have included to try and find some similar level of success to what had been seen within Counter-Strike, but with growing concern and efforts being placed to cull growing fears that this had been advertising gambling to a younger audience, it seems the golden age of cosmetic trading is over as it falls to a more niche and enthusiastic audience as current prices are aimed more toward collectors rather than the casual audience.