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Tech Shock: Dr David Zendle on the links between gaming and gambling

In this week’s episode of the Tech Shock podcast, Vicki and Geraldine talk to Dr David Zendle, the leading researcher into the links between gaming and gambling. They discuss how gaming became a system for constantly making money out of players.


The financial model of gaming has changed drastically over the last decade, Zendle explains, to the point that most games now rely on microtransactions to make money. 

“Gaming is an incredibly lucrative market with very few restrictions,” he says. “And I think people would be surprised to learn about what goes on at the fringes of this market.”

Zendle also highlighted concerns about money laundering through gaming. “If you look at the Steam marketplace, occasionally you get people spending thousands of pounds on an item with the value of about 30p,” he says. “Why are they doing that?” 

He believes that the time has come for a regulatory body that’s flexible enough to respond to current threats and the ever-changing tech landscape. 

“The games industry should have some kind of responsibility to the people buying their products,” he says. “We need a new regulator to deal with the video game industry. The threats to people that exist through monetisation in 2025 will not resemble the threats to people that exist today.”


Listen to Series 3, Episode 3 to hear the full podcast.

 Stream and download now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other platforms.