The Gambling Commission government watchdog will undertake an investigation into the rise of social gaming with a view to determining whether this sector of the market needs to be better regulated.
According to a report from the Daily Mail newspaper, social gaming has largely avoided the attention of UK regulators as games are usually played for free and as such have been viewed as not real gambling.
However, participants still wager in hopes of winning points or virtual prizes and it is possible to spend large sums of money buying extra chips and points with the publication reporting that one player in the United States recently spent $13,000 in just three months on free-to-play games. In addition, some operators allow customers to cash in their winnings and a black market has since sprung up in which people can buy and sell their virtual takings.
“The key question is; is it gambling or not,” read a quote in the Daily Mail attributed to John Travers, Corporate Affairs Manager for the Gambling Commission.
Via This Week in Gambling