The Norwegian Gaming Authority issued a statement today against online skin gambling. For those unaware, online skin gambling is the act of betting on the outcome of professional matches or games of chance using virtual goods (often cosmetic elements like skins) as virtual currency.
The NGA’s take on things is pretty simple, they don’t want any unregulated gambling, especially skin gambling. Their statement reads, in part, “Skins can normally not be exchanged for cash, but it is possible to take the skins out of the game and to other markets for buying and selling. There are separate online casinos where you can bet and win skins, and in such cases, skins are a virtual currency that can be used for gambling. We have seen several examples of Norwegian children and young people who have spent thousands of money on this activity…. Stopping illegal betting has always been a priority at the NGA, especially when games are aimed at children and young people.”
Any website to be found offering skin gambling services will be treated as an illegal online casino and likely face charges. This isn’t the first time that eSports have faced regulations. Last year, two Youtubers were charged with a similar offense in the UK for offering skin gambling services and targeting minors. Not that all eSports regulations have to be bad ones – Fifth Street Gaming works with the Nevada Gaming Policy Commission and has created a hub of eSports gambling in Vegas which has done wonders for eSports in that area.
As of now, it has yet to be seen if the NGA will be pursuing punitive measures or if they plan to regulate skin gambling as we’ve seen in Nevada.
This news comes courtesy of The Esports Observer.
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