Gambling-like features in fan tokens

Lopez-Gonzalez, H. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2023. Gambling-like features in fan tokens. Journal of Gambling Studies, 39 (4), pp. 1579-1596. ISSN 1050-5350

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Fan tokens are a form of cryptocurrency that allow owners to participate in various fan-related experiences such as voting on the music to be played during half-time breaks in sporting events. Since 2020, many elite sport teams have issued fan tokens, allegedly as a way to engage with fans and hear their voice. However, fan tokens also raise some concerns. They are largely gamified digital items that intend to keep fans within the providers' app. Also, they can be traded in exchange platforms, which arguably transform them into collectibles, whose value can vary over time. Here, we explore fan tokens through a case study from a football (soccer) club (i.e., an F.C. Barcelona fan token). Drawing on literature from situational and structural characteristics of gambling, we analyse the gambling-like features that fan tokens include in their product design. Such features are discussed from a public health perspective, comparing what they mean in gambling contexts and how potentially harmful they could be for fan token holders.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Gambling Studies
Creators: Lopez-Gonzalez, H. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer
Date: December 2023
Volume: 39
Number: 4
ISSN: 1050-5350
Rights: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 15 May 2023 08:58
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 15:42

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