Quite often, gaming and gambling are terms that get confused and raise questions. While the distinction between the two may be evident to those actively engaged in these activities, there may remain a few vague questions for the rest of us. These uncertainties are fundamental to forming a complete understanding of these two activities and therefore require immediate study. Next, you will see that there are systems on casino sites that require pre-payment for the gaming experience, which is a form of gambling, such as a $10 minimum deposit casino in Australia.

Experts estimate that the gaming market will reach $256.67 billion by 2025. The study revealed a staggering number of 2.5 billion people playing games of chance and games of skill all over the world. In a parallel universe, the statistics show that online gambling, on the other hand, seems to cover a market of nearly $159.3 billion today. In the dichotomy between gaming and gambling, we can establish a clear distinction between the two based on many factors: interaction, entertainment, participation, technology, money, accessibility, legality, etc.

In this article, we will take a pragmatic and brief look at these different factors and see for ourselves where the difference truly lies.

A Difference by Means of Its Inherent Nature

Theoretically, gaming could be attributed to a time even before the dawn of civilization. However, such a debate would be somewhat redundant and irrelevant to modern readers. Let us better consider what modern people tend to associate with when the term “game” is mentioned.

In this sense, a “video game” is direct action and sports interaction with pre-installed software. This is a virtual model of communication and competition. The following titles are well-known examples of what a modern game usually looks like:

  • PUBG
  • FIFA
  • Call of Duty
  • Miles Morales.

On the other hand, we have gambling. To some extent, gambling can be thought of as a kind of sport. Nevertheless, it is indeed a form of entertainment. However, it should be kept in mind that in gambling, entertainment and joy come from betting, unlike in non-professional gambling. This scenario is better described by the synonymous term “wagering.”

By wagering, we refer to the idea of betting. It is a contractual form of sport or game (as its practitioners prefer), which by its very nature allows for the involvement of property owned – most often money.

Distinction In Terms of Accessibility and Legalities

While non-professional gaming is available to almost anyone, regardless of age or location, gambling can only be allowed within a specific community or group strictly characterized by age, country of residence, and legislation system.

Gaming may only require the purchase and installation of certain software. On the other hand, gambling can be accessed on online platforms through various downloadable applications, governed by applicable laws and agreements that must be strictly adhered to in accordance with the terms and conditions for each casino software installation.

It is also worth mentioning that there are gambling sites that cannot extend and avail their service to everyone due to the validity and limitations which their license holds.

Considering the statistics, gaming is no less powerful than gambling. In 2020, $159.3 billion is projected to be the value of the video gaming industry. During 2019, there was an increase of 9.3%, and the industry is expected to be valued at $268 billion by 2025, according to the latest forecasts. Compared to 2019, APAC and Latin America experienced the highest growth rates of 9.9% and 10.3%, respectively.

Interconnectivity of Gaming and Gambling

Although there is a subtle distinction between these terms, there are times when gaming and gambling seem to merge. As social casino games and gaming apps grow, gambling and gaming are becoming increasingly interconnected. As discussed earlier, you can access these casino games on social media sites and via applications on your smartphones. While social casino games are only a means of social interaction, casino games for real money provide opportunities for gambling, wagering, and earning profits, such as card games, online slot machines, video poker games for real money, etc.

Fundamental gaming can also take the form of gambling once the monetary transaction is inclined at the win and a loss of a game. However, one thing demands to be clarified – professional gaming like esports is not to be confused with gambling. It is true that in professional gaming, participants are rewarded with money. Although there are rewards, professional gaming by no means advocates any sort of contractual, monetary transaction (payouts) similar to a casino. One must understand that there is a heaven and hell difference between professional gaming and gambling.

There are also numerous schemes for in-game purchases in games which is to say – a player can buy items or points for use within a virtual world in order to enhance his character or his experience while playing the game. For example, this would be the case with a loot box, a consumable virtual item that can be redeemed to select more advanced virtual items.

Performance and Probability

There is another way through which we can distinguish between gambling and gambling. It is based on results and probability. The results of gaming mainly depend on the direct activity of the gamer. On the other hand, the results of gambling rely largely on the fate of the player, and more importantly, on mathematical probability.

Addiction Around Gambling and Gaming

Parallel to the increase in the number of players registering to gamble, the number of those who fall victim to addiction is growing. As a result, numerous government self-exclusion programs have been developed to address this problem. Here are just a few of them:

  • GamStop: A non-profit organization that helps prevent gaming and gambling addiction in the UK operating under National Online Self Exclusion Scheme Limited or NOSES.
  • SpelPaus: A self-exclusion scheme that prevents addiction in Sweden.
  • AAMS: A self-exclusion program to combat gaming and gambling addiction in Italy.


With all that being said, we come to an agreeable and coherent understanding on the grounds on which we can draw an opaque line between gaming and gambling. A slight change in agreements and methods of playing just might originate one out of the other. So play on!


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