What are gambling skins and what makes them a problem?

If you are belonging to the older generation of casino players or are not into online casino games, then chances are you don’t exactly know what gambling skins are. The younger generation is into gambling skins, which is one reason why gambling skins are turning out to be a big problem.

Guest author Jørgen Aasgen gives us a simple breakdown of what gambling skins are all about, why they are controversial, and what parents can do to protect minors from getting hooked to gambling skins. To find out more about Jørgen Aasgen, click here.

What Are Gambling Skins?

The easiest way to explain gambling skins is to get you to understand how online gambling works. Gambling skins work the same way, but instead of using real money to play online games, players use cosmetic in-game items called ‘skins.’ They can also be referred to as virtual currency or digital goods that players use to bet on different games.

Gambling skins really came to the forefront due to the popularity of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Commonly referred to as CS:GO, this first-person shooter game gave players the option to add cosmetic items to their game that would change their weapons and avatar appearance. 

These cosmetic skins in CS:GO did not give players an added advantage over the competition but what they did do was create ‘value.’ CS: GO skins had a market demand, and Valve, the developer behind CS:GO was happy to allow CS: GO players to use Valve’s digital marketplace called Steam to buy, sell and trade their CS: GO gambling skins.

These CS: GO gambling skins could sell for a few dollars while others could go up into the thousands. Several other gaming developers quickly took advantage of this business model and came out with their own gambling skins that players could once again buy, trade, or sell on Steam.

Norwegian players love playing CS: GO and looking for new games that allow them to have fun and have a chance at a decent payout. However, players from Norway prefer to play real money games rather than games that only involve gambling skins. If you are looking to play real money online casino games that include slots, table games, and live dealer casino games, we suggest checking out norsk casino på nett.

What Is The Problem With Gambling Skins? 

The gambling skins problem arises because most countries have regulations that classify games of chance that are played with real money as gambling. However, gambling skins do not use real money, and hence the developers don’t consider them as gambling.

They are marketed and promoted as non-gambling games and hence are not subjected to gambling regulations even though they get players to buy, sell and trade gambling skins for cosmetic items.

In real money casino games, real money gambling takes place directly. When you play on gambling skins, the gambling takes place in-directly and is harder to police. As a result, many minors end up playing these games and getting actively involved in trading on marketplaces like Steam.

Many of them end up getting addicted to gambling skins and trading. They end up stealing their parent’s credit cards or borrowing money from their friends to finance their gambling skins activities. 

Gaming regulators around the world have cracked down on gambling skins in recent years and have debated the issue as to whether these gambling skins should be classified as gambling activities. Most gambling skins marketplaces like Steam do not have any age restrictions in place as to who can buy, trade, and sell these cosmetic skins.

The global gambling skins market is now expected to be worth billions of dollars.

How To Stop The Gambling Skins Problem?

If you are a parent and know that your child spends a lot of time playing games on their computer or mobile phone, you need to take the time to speak to your child and find out what their favorite games are. See if you can get your child to tell you if the games involve cosmetic items or virtual items that they can buy, sell, or trade.

If you don’t get this information directly from them, spend a few minutes online and research what game your child is playing. If you find that they are playing with gambling skins, you need to have an open conversation with them and put software restrictions that prevent them from accessing and trading at marketplaces like Steam.


If you are personally involved with gambling skins and feel like you are not in control of your gambling activities, you need to get help. You can get in touch with gambling-related organizations and tell a family member that you are struggling and make yourself accountable to them.

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