November 15, 2021

Online Gaming Vs Online Gambling: Know the Similarities and Differences

Kwabena Ofori
Written byKwabena OforiWriter

If you like gambling online, then these two confusing words are familiar to you; gaming and gambling. While some say that gaming and gambling are one and the same, others argue that the difference is bare to see.

Online Gaming Vs Online Gambling: Know the Similarities and Differences

So, what’s the primary difference between gaming and gambling? Can they be used interchangeably? This article puts the debate to rest with some clear facts.

What is Online Gaming?

According to Wikipedia, an internet game is a form of video game played using computer networks like the internet. Based on this description, it’s common to see where the confusion between gambling online and gaming online emanates. After all, online casino and sportsbook betting is also done online.

But here is the thing; gaming is when a player enjoys the game for the money or for free. Usually, gaming doesn’t involve luck and chances. Instead, it’s the player’s skills that can win or lose the game. Just think of it like playing that multiplayer draft game on your mobile phone.

What is Online Gambling?

Going back to Wikipedia, online gambling or internet gambling is a type of betting done online. Normally, online gambling is conducted via mobile casinos and sportsbooks, although most come packaged as a single entity.

That said, the outcome of any online gambling session is hugely dependent on chance or luck. For example, you can place a bet on a blackjack game, roulette, online slot, baccarat, or any other online casino game.

Also, you can stake a currency on the outcome of a football match or greyhound racing contest. In short, gambling involves risking any form of valuables in an event with an unpredictable outcome.


Despite the glaring differences, gaming and gambling can sometimes overlap. First, legal gambling may sometimes be called gaming in some jurisdictions. That’s why you’ll find betting control bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority and Kahnawake Gaming Commission using the term “gaming” instead of “gambling.”

Second, other types of gaming like Esports are considered betting at the best gambling sites. If you don’t know, Esports (electronic sports) is a video game tournament involving fighting, real-time strategy, first-person shooter, and so on. In a nutshell, Esports is a gaming activity, although it falls under gambling in the online casino and sportsbook world.

In addition to these two similarities, some games have also metamorphosed into gambling games by allowing players to win value items. Most games also introduce the aspect of in-app purchases, where players purchase items with real money. Overall, the two terms get even more confusing as you dig deeper.


When it comes to the differences, there is nothing much to discuss. As said before, gambling involves staking real money or games or events with uncertain outcomes. Many a time, gambling involves three elements: game of chance, wagered money, and the prize possibility.

Popular forms of gambling include:

  • Online slots
  • Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Bingo
  • Match predictions, etc.

Meanwhile, gaming is predominantly about having a great time with your computer or mobile phone via video games. Often, the outcome doesn’t involve any tangible prize like winning money. This can be racing, shooting, fighting, solving puzzles, and more.

Online Gaming Vs Online Gambling: Is There Any Difference?

Well, it depends on how you look at it. But as you can see, gambling and gaming refer to two different things. While the former is about staking real money on a game of chance, the latter is more about having fun without using real money.

But to avoid any confusion, the gambling world uses these two terms interchangeably. Remember, some form of gaming activities like Esports can involve the aspect of using real money. Nonetheless, have fun, whether gambling or gaming.

About the author
Kwabena Ofori
Kwabena Ofori

Kwabena is a dynamic digital aficionado, adept at fine-tuning and localizing online casino guides tailored for Ghana's vibrant gaming community. With a perfect blend of cultural understanding and tech-savviness, he is reshaping how Ghanaians navigate the online casino landscape.

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