A study by experts at the University of York and York St John University claims spending on in-game loot boxes can be as closely linked with gambling issues as alcohol dependency and drug problems.
Loot boxes are packs of in-game items players can buy using real money, but the contents of a pack are randomised and not known until after purchase.
Many of today's most popular games, including Fortnite, feature loot boxes.
The research said similarities between loot boxes and gambling could lead to increases in problem gambling among gamers, and it suggests revenue generated from loot boxes will reach £23.3 billion this year.
It comes in the wake of research by the Gambling Commission suggested the number of children classed as having a problem with gambling has quadrupled to more than 50,000 in just two years.
As part of its report, the commission raised concerns that close to a million young people had been exposed to gambling through loot boxes.
It has previously voiced concerns the features are blurring lines between gaming and gambling.
On the latest research, author Dr David Zendle from York St John University called for more regulation around the gaming packs. He said:
Co-author Dr Paul Cairns, from the department of computer science at the University of York, said: