Pokemon Gambling: A Deep Dive 2023

Ever found yourself chuckling at the idea of Pikachu spinning a roulette? Well, it’s not as fictional as you might think! Pokémon, despite its child-friendly façade, has a history intertwined with gambling elements. Let’s delve into this intriguing world.

Introduction to Pokemon Gambling

Who would have thought that the cute, pocket-sized creatures we adore could be associated with gambling? From in-game casinos to external betting platforms, the Pokémon world offers more than just battles and gym badges.

The History of Pokemon Gambling

From the moment Pokémon games graced our Game Boys, gambling elements were sprinkled in.

Early Days: The Game Corner

Recall walking into the Game Corner in Celadon City in Pokémon Red and Blue? It was a casino-style environment where players could play slot machines to win coins, which could then be exchanged for rare Pokémon and TMs. Ah, the thrill of trying to get that elusive Porygon!

Controversy and Changes

However, not everyone viewed this gaming aspect positively. Concerns arose about introducing children to gambling. As a result, in some later versions of Pokémon games, the Game Corner’s prominence was reduced or removed.

Forms of Pokemon Gambling

But the Game Corner was just the tip of the iceberg.

In-Game Casino Games

Beyond the slot machines, various Pokémon games introduced different gambling-inspired elements, like the Voltorb Flip game in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. These mechanics were often made to be more puzzle-like, distancing them from traditional gambling.

Betting on Pokemon Battles

Outside the games, communities sprung up where fans would bet on outcomes of Pokémon battles, treating them as real-life sports matches. Although not officially endorsed, it showcased the depth of fandom and the desire for higher stakes.

Pokemon Cards and Lotteries

Then there’s the realm of Pokémon cards, where the thrill of getting a rare card from a pack feels akin to a lottery. Plus, some events offer mystery prizes, amplifying the gambling-like experience.

Ethical Concerns

Like any gambling medium, ethical concerns exist.

Impacts on Young Players

While adults can distinguish between real-world consequences and in-game rewards, children might struggle. There’s a risk of normalizing gambling behaviors at a tender age.

The Role of Microtransactions

With the rise of mobile games like Pokémon Go, microtransactions offer chances to get rare items or Pokémon, sometimes resembling “loot box” mechanics known in other games. The line between paying for a chance and gambling becomes blurred.

Legal Implications

As gambling concerns grow, so do the legalities.

Game Ratings and Gambling

Should a game with gambling elements receive a higher age rating? This debate has been ongoing, with some countries adjusting their rating systems accordingly.

Countries Taking Action

Some regions, like the European Union, have started looking into the legality of loot boxes and gambling in games targeted at minors, leading to potential changes in how Pokemon games might evolve.

Conclusion: The Future of Pokemon Gambling

Pokémon gambling, be it in-game or externally, is a multifaceted topic. While it adds excitement and unpredictability to the Pokémon experience, it’s crucial for creators and regulators alike to ensure the welfare of young players. As the Pokémon universe continues to expand, only time will tell how gambling elements evolve.


  1. Were there real casinos in Pokemon games?
    • Yes, the Game Corner in early games resembled a casino with slot machines.
  2. Is betting on Pokemon battles legal?
    • It depends on regional laws concerning gambling and betting on unregulated events.
  3. Are Pokemon cards gambling?
    • No, While buying packs hoping for rare cards resembles gambling, they’re generally not classified as Gambling.
  4. Has any country banned Pokemon games due to gambling elements?
    • No country has banned the games entirely, but some have raised age ratings or modified content.
  5. Is there a risk of addiction with Pokemon gambling?
    • Like any form of gambling, there’s a potential for addiction, especially if real money is involved.
  6. Are Pokemon cards legal in USA?
    • Yes, Pokemon cards are legally available and tradable in the United States.
  7. Are Pokemon cards legal in India? 
    • India doesn’t have specific laws regarding Pokemon Cards. But any sort of Gambling or Trading activities are considered illegal in India if you are not paying GST to government.

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