Contrary to common belief, there are numerous activities in everyday life that could, when thought about, be considered a light form of gambling. Despite there being a couple of obvious games, such as the lottery or even scratchcards, there are a number of things that we often do or take part in on a daily basis that we never would have considered to be gambling. As such, we’ll be detailing a few of those things in this article for you!
Famously played using a deck or pack of cards, from traditional suits to Uno, card games have been the centre of family fun for generations. With more sophisticated card games, such as Poker, being played by adults, children could still have a slice of the fun pie with a simple game of Go Fish or Crazy Eights.
However, despite playing these card games in the comfort of your own home, the activity is actually considered to be gambling. Whether you’re betting with money or not, the principle, so it seems, is still the same as going into a casino and getting involved in a game of Poker or Blackjack.
Although, there are still many who will argue that, especially with child’s card games, most activities that are enjoyed with a deck of cards can, innocently, be just that – a game. Many members of the public still deny that Snap, Go Fish, Uno, Happy Families, Rummy and more are a form of gambling, or will lead to that in later life.
According to the JGI, scratchcards were widely introduced in the UK on 21st March 1995. Over 25 years, scratchcards have become incredibly popular, with more people purchasing them over the conventional lottery.
Due to heavy advertisements and large jackpots drawing the public in, it’s no wonder that millions of pounds are spent on scratchcards in the UK every single year. Many argue that they’re actually an extension to the lottery, with some people buying a scratchcard along with their weekly lottery ticket. But in fact, they’re two very different games.
There’s more of a chance of winning when it comes to purchasing scratchcards, even if it’s just £5 here and there. Many feel that winning even the smallest amount on the lottery is highly unlikely and so they may find themselves opting for a simple scratchcard instead, especially if they’re slightly cheaper than a lottery ticket.
Scratchcard games used to range in price, from £1 to £10, although, in 2019, there were extensive calls for Camelot, the National Lottery operator, to end the sale of £10 scratchcards. Subsequently, £10 scratchcards were scrapped, leaving the highest priced cards at £5 each. Some players even choose to play their scratchcard games online, which can prove to be hugely lucrative – in the Summer of 2020 an NHS worker from Blackpool became a millionaire playing Wolf Gold scratchcard.
There have also been calls for the Government to raise the age limit for buying scratchcards in the UK from 16 to 18 years of age. The same rule is also expected to apply when attempting to play the National Lottery. As of December 2020, the new rules still haven’t been put into place, but they’re expected to come into force by October 2021 at the very latest. Although, online sales for those under 18 will be halted by April 2021, according to Money Saving Expert.
The National Lottery
Founded in 1994, the National Lottery is operated by Camelot and regulated by the Gambling Commission. Since its launch, the lottery has become an incredibly popular game in the UK.
With cheap ticket prices and huge jackpots up for grabs, it’s no wonder that, in March 2020, the National Lottery reported that the British public had spent a total of £7,905.1 million on lottery tickets since March 2019.
Of that £7,905.1 million made, £1,853.1 million went towards the projects, charities and organisations the National Lottery support, with remaining cash being used to pay lottery winners their prizes. Without extensive advertising efforts and huge jackpots drawing people in, it’s unlikely that they’d have raised the cash they did.
Although, playing the lottery is rather enjoyable for many people, with shoppers adding a lottery ticket onto the end of their list of things to buy while at the supermarket. However, it is still considered to be a form of gambling, with the Government set to raise the age limit from 16 to 18 by October this year.
Online games, even those that were made for children, have some gambling traits or themes to them. Games such as Cooking Fever have a fruit machine concept, in which the player swaps a certain amount of coins in exchange for gems. However, the player isn’t guaranteed to earn the gems and so the amount of coins they have will go down with very little gain.
It’s not just online games that have gambling themes. Video games made for Xbox and PlayStation have also been known to contain gambling or casino references, such as Final Fantasy VIII and Fallout: New Vegas. Whether one is betting with real money or resources earned throughout a virtual game, the principle, it has been argued, is still very much the same.