Online Gaming vs Online Gambling: What’s the Difference?

    The terms “gambling” and “gaming” are often confused with each other and used interchangeably. Nonetheless, they each refer to different activities with little in common. So, before you sign up on 21Casino or a similar website, it’s best to understand the differences and overlaps between gaming and gambling. 

    How Do Gaming and Gambling Differ? 

    In today’s tech-savvy world, it’s hard to distinguish gaming from gambling, because technology is involved in both activities. Nonetheless, the clearest distinction between the two is that gambling is a game of chance while gaming primarily involves skill. Likewise, you can game with your peers for free without any money involved. 

     On the other hand, you’re typically required to pay some money upfront to gamble. Gaming can also become gambling if there’s a monetary transaction. So, if you’re bound to gain financially from gaming, it means you’re gambling. That said, here’s a look at the difference between gaming and gambling. 

    ·        Gaming requires skill and knowledge. Gameplay often entails formulating solutions to challenges created by game developers. 

    ·        Gambling primarily relies on luck and probability. You have to wager a specific amount of money on the outcome of a game of chance or bet on sporting events like MMA fights. 

     From the definition, it’s easy to deduce that the main difference between gambling and gaming lies with financial gains. Nonetheless, whether you’re in it for fun or cash, it’s crucial to learn how to increase your winning chances. 

    Forms of Gambling

    In gambling, you wager money on events or games with an uncertain income while expecting to win more cash. Thus, gambling has an element of risk because things could go either way. Some of the games you’ll find at online or land-based casinos include: 


    This ancient game involves a wheel with sockets. Before playing, you must choose the spot you think the ball will land. Typically, the table is marked in sharp colors to make betting easier. 

    Table Games

    In these games, you’re required to select random numbers that appear on a table. If you pick a lucky number, you win a corresponding prize. 


    There are multiple versions of this ancient game, but the gameplay is similar. You win prizes according to the position the pointer falls on. 

    Dice Games

    This is another favorite among gamblers and is one of the easiest games to play. Gameplay involves rolling the dice, and you get a spin for the value. 


    This casino game entails choosing cards, and you win if you attain 21, but without going over it ahead of other players.

     Although land-based casinos remain popular, there has been an incredible rise in the number of virtual gaming platforms. On these online casinos, you’ll find most of the popular games, including poker and blackjack. 


    This activity is primarily attributed to the tech advances of recent years. Nonetheless, gaming has been around for close to fifty years. Here’s a look at some of the games you can play online: 

    Video Games

    These are widely available and compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices. Once you’re connected to the Internet, you play with/against other players across the globe. Computers are the ideal hardware for video games because they have a higher processing power than mobile devices. 

    Other Online Games

    When it comes to gaming, gameplay concepts generally differ. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced gamer, there are dozens of app stores and online sites you can leverage to locate your preferable games. 

    What are the Overlaps Between Gambling and Gaming? 

    Although gaming and gambling are distinct, they may sometimes overlap. For instance, legalized gambling is sometimes referred to as gaming. Also, e-sports betting is categorized as gambling because money is wagered. Today, e-sports is arguably the fastest-growing segment of the online gambling industry with annual revenues exceeding $10 billion. 

     In some cases, online games introduce elements of gambling. An excellent example is the GTA’s recent Diamond Casino and Resort Casino update.The game has gambling elements in the sense that you have the opportunity to visit the casino to play poker or slots virtually. You can even use real money to buy in-game currency and swap it for casino chips. Thanks to the gambling elements of the update, it’s banned in more than 50 countries. 

     The cross-selling of gambling websites to social gamers and the introduction of gaming features to gambling platforms is another area of overlap between gambling and gaming. Also, games are increasingly getting "gamblified" in that players are allowed to win items of monetary value. 

    Key Takeaways

    Although gambling and gaming are two different activities, they sometimes overlap. Nonetheless, the convergence between the two creates a potential for novel crossover activities and games to be introduced in the future. The industries are dependent on each other, thus the difficulty in distinguishing gaming from gambling. 

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