Research project ‘Gam(e)(a)ble : the blurring lines between gaming and gambling and its impacts on young people'

Promotor: prof. dr. Eva Lievens 
Researcher: Pieterjan Declerck

Short description

The lines between videogaming and gambling are becoming increasingly blurred in games that are popular among children. This rises the societal concern that children are being progressively exposed to gambling or gambling-like activities, with notable examples being social casino games, skin betting, or in-game purchases related to lootboxes or other virtual chests. These gambling-like features operate in a grey zone due to the lack of an obligatory strict classification system, which makes it hard for parents and children to see their potential risks. The convergence of videogaming and gambling is a recent phenomenon, triggering a significant expansion of new forms of gambling activities that are more covert and unrestricted than traditional land-based, offline gambling and therefore potentially more problematic.

The 'Gam(e)(a)ble' Project is an interdisciplinary project that combines different fields of study (communication sciences, psychology, law & prevention services). The objective of the legal aspect of the project is to construct a future-proof regulatory framework to empower and protect child-consumers, taking into account the different relevant legal domains such as the regulation of gambling and videogaming, consumer protection regulation, data protection regulation and media regulation. The aim of this regulatory framework is to address the challenges linked to the gambling-like activities in videogames and to offer insights on the possibilities to protect or empower children when they are confronted with them in the digital environment.

More information on the project can be found on the official website and on the Twitter page of the project.