Gambling and Video Games

Gambling and video games definitely go hand in hand: next to the entertainment and excitement, both use similar techniques to capture the attention of players. That’s why it’s no rarity nowadays to come across gambling games that incorporate storylines and graphics that resemble video games, and vice versa: many video games now include gambling sub-plots.

There are also gambling platforms out there that are considered entertainment-only, so they are categorized as video games since there is no real money wagering going on.

In this overview of the connection between gambling and video games, we will take a look at some of the most common ways these two aspects mix and match, and list some of the sources where you can find video games with gambling elements. 

Simulated gambling games

The first group of video games that are based on gambling, but are not licensed and registered as casinos is simulated gambling games. Some of the most famous ones include Zynga Poker, Doubledown Casino and Slotomania

The reason that they are not categorized as gambling games is that there is no real money involved: players usually wager virtual coins or digital money that only represents currency in these games. These are intended purely for fun and you cannot lose or win any real money on these platforms. 

On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that simulated gambling games lack excitement or adrenaline. On these platforms, you will find leaderboards and competition in which you can join and prove that you’re the best of the best.

They are also prominent on social media like Facebook, where you can compete with your friends and prove that you’re a master of slots, poker or some other casino game.

In-game gambling

In-game casino gaming is a feature that has become increasingly popular in recent video games. Many games now include sub-plots where you can gamble for virtual money or some other resources that are used in the game. For example, if you collect coins within the game, you can choose to gamble with your coins to obtain more and buy new features. 

Some of the most notable examples of in-game gambling include Grand Theft Auto and the Sims, but many games include pokie machines as part of their main storyline.

How do gambling video games make money?

Many players wonder how video games that incorporate gambling actually monetize their games, without providing actual real cash games. There are several ways in which video games which include gambling games make money, and two of the most common ones are advertising and in-app purchases.


In order to make money off their game and utilize the number of players who are enjoying their games, publishers often decide to ‘rent out’ some of the space in their platforms and apps to advertisers. 

This can mean anything from ads to other games, websites and platforms to affiliate links to actual casinos. For example, usually, the UK online casino has the best payouts and pays out the most and can be found as a recommendation in many in-game gambling platforms.

In-app purchases

If the game developer is looking to make as much money as possible off their game, they will most likely publish a game that’s highly addictive and contains in-app purchases. This can apply to any type of features that can help you advance in the game. 

For example, many mobile apps and arcade video games have a limited number of lives. So, if you want to continue playing without waiting for the usual recharge period, you can pay to get a new shot at improving your score right away. In-app purchases are also very popular in games where users have to collect coins, items or other specific objects within the game. 


Gambling in video games is definitely here to stay, and we can expect to see some more exciting developments as more popular developers begin to include casino gambling in arcade video games.

WE SAID THIS: If you’re a fan of both, you can definitely find loads of resources where you can have fun for free and test out your gambling skills.