Interactive Software Federation of Europe

Statement on the declaration by gambling authorities regarding “blurring lines between gambling and gaming”

We welcome the opportunity to dialogue with different organisations regarding concerns related to the “blurring of lines between gambling and gaming”.  The video games sector has a strong track record of working with regulatory authorities on important matters of consumer protection. 

The video games industry takes its responsibility to consumers, particularly children, very seriously. Importantly, every platform has parental control tools installed allowing parents to ensure their children can play games safely, sensibly and responsibly. These tools allow parents to make choices about the way their children enjoy games, including control and limit spending, set and control the time spent on games and online generally, and manage the sharing of information with other players. https://pegi.info/parental-controls  

When our members offer in-game purchasing, they make it optional and transparent. PEGI (Pan European Game Information), which provides parents with age classifications for video games, launched a new content descriptor in August to inform parents about the presence in-game purchases. This descriptor was added to the 7 other content descriptors to further enhance transparency: https://pegi.info/news/new-in-game-purchases-descriptor

Our members do not promote gambling or offer gambling services. We are concerned about gambling sites that appropriate video games style characters and graphics to attract minors into gambling. We also call on authorities to further support efforts to stop illegal practices such as “skin betting” where third party gambling sites allow minors to bet and trade on virtual items. Video games businesses do not allow, facilitate, or condone the conversion of virtual currencies or other in-game items into money or the use of them within unlicensed third party gambling sites.