The Difference Between Gambling And Gaming


There is a thin line between gambling and gaming. To clear up the confusion between the two, it is important to understand both concepts individually. Gaming can be referred to as playing electronic games using mobile phones, computers, consoles, or other devices. Online video games require a screen and 5G connection (sometimes), unlike traditional board games.

Some games can be played for free whereas some involve real money transactions to purchase loot boxes or other accessories, weapons relevant to the game. Some games involve gambling as well which can be harmful to gambling addicts. Gambling involves monetary transactions and is a game of chance.

Gambling Games

There is a major distinction between the types of games offered on gambling platforms and the ones available only for fun. Some gambling games available at brick and mortar casinos as well as online casinos are:

  • Blackjack – Blackjack or 21, is one of the easiest card games in which the objective is to achieve a higher score than the dealer without going over 21, before the other players.
  • Roulette – It is a gambling game where punters bet on which black or red numbered compartment of a revolving wheel a ball would fall on. Bets are placed on a table marked with colors to match the compartments of the wheel.
  • Table Games – Punters can gamble using a selection of numbers that appear randomly. Upon selecting the right digits, a punter can win massive cash prizes.
  • Wheel Spins – A croupier spins the wheel in a direction to determine a winning number and spins the ball in the opposite direction around the circular tilted track on the wheel’s outer edge.
  • Poker – It is a game where punters prefer a sense of control over risk. They can estimate their skill level against their opponents by virtue of an immediate loss or win, the way the table shifts, the way the money moves.
  • Dice Games – It requires a punter to roll the dice and wait for the desired outcome. One can get a spin for the value.

Offering a wide array of games, virtual gambling platforms have a huge customer base. From the period of 2020-2027, some EU casinos expect to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5% reaching $127.3 billion by the end of 2027.

Digital Gaming

It has been more than 50 years since the first innovation to modern digital games started. The industry has undergone a major breakthrough and due to the advancement of technology, more and more games have been popping up. There were around 2.69 billion gamers globally by the end of 2020.

There has been a steady growth per year with an average increase of 5.6% p.a. 2021 aims at reaching 2.81 billion gamers which would, in turn, earn the gaming market around $189.3 billion by the end of the year.

  • Video Games: The emergence of video games began during the 1950s when computer scientists designed simple simulations and games on mainframe computers. Now, these games are available for most mobile devices running on iOS and Android. Computers are the perfect gaming hardware for video games. The global video gaming industry is worth $159.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to be worth $268 billion by the end of 2025.
  • Other Online Games: There are multiple types of online games available like console gaming, player vs player games, browser games, real-time strategy games, first-person shooter games, etc.

Skills & Knowledge Vs Luck And Chances

Gambling involves taking chances at winning casino games such as slot machines, card games, etc for monetary gain with uncertain results. Punters usually rely on luck and probability while betting on sports events or staking money on a game of chances.

Gaming does not depend on sheer luck but on skills and knowledge. The outcome of a game is achieved by the gamer’s skills since he needs to come up with solutions for overcoming challenges designed by the gaming developers. Luck is also a component but it is not the only one.

Financial Factor

Gaming is usually linked with fun and doesn’t come with the possibility of winning real money. However, one can invest in certain gaming aspects like loot boxes in video games like Fifa 17 and 18, PUBG, etc.

Gambling on the other hand encompasses playing casino games like slots, roulette, poker, etc, and placing bets on live games, esports. Gambling involves money.


Gambling and gaming are leisure activities. Game developers across the world add elements of financial gains to it, with the objective of attracting punters across the world. Gaming and gambling both demand responsible playing. Else over-indulgence could lead to addictions and major financial downfalls.