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What’s the Difference Between Gaming and Gambling?

Jonn Seo | April 1, 2020 | Updated on: January 7th, 2021

signs of gambling addictionSometimes these words are used interchangeably, but do gaming and gambling mean the same thing? This rings true in the case of web-based games. The two terms actually don’t mean the same thing and this guide will show you how to distinguish between two terms. Gaming refers to participating in a simulated game that is based on using a certain skill-set to overcome obstacles, reach milestones, and progress from one level to another.

Gambling is the activity of wagering money on the outcome of a roll, spin, or event that is unknown. The salient distinction lies in the potential monetary benefit that is revealed upon predicting the result correctly or incorrectly. If you gamble on the result and your prediction is correct, you win. If you are playing a gambling game and lose, you forfeit your money. Go through this guide to get an in-depth analysis of the two concepts.

Top USA Gaming Gambling Sites

Gaming vs Gambling

In light of the ambiguity caused by certain gaming items where some interactions could be interpreted as gambling, we distinguished between the concepts. Gaming encapsulates the entire industry that designs interactive video games for entertainment. These games take place digitally and encourage players to use their skills to advance in stages and track their progress. The social aspect becomes important in gaming, where you don’t actually bet any money but the motivation is influenced by entertainment.

Gambling, on the other hand, is adapted from local casino games that involved the act of risking money on the potential outcome of events. The scope of gambling has widened over the years to extend towards wagering on political elections, sports events, and many other propositional bets. The legal definition of gambling refers to placing money or any financial currency on the potential out of events in hopes of a return on investment.

Types of Gambling

Below is a list of examples of gambling that you will come across in America:

  • Sports Betting – wagering on sports events to predict the final result correctly.
  • Casino Gambling – betting on the spin, roll of the dice, or cards dealt to win money.
  • Political Elections Betting – staking money to predict the winner of elections.
  • Entertainment – betting on the winner of the trophy in an award show.

Social gambling games tend to blur the line, as these types of games are mostly free to play, with no money changing hands. Games such as community hall bingo for the elderly tend to be for the sake of enjoyment. There have also been studies that have found that there’s gambling in video games with loot boxes being exchanged for real-life currencies. While we’ve clearly outlined the differences between the two concepts, it is easy to see why there is an overlap.