Loot Boxes

Loot Boxes – Should they be considered as a Gambling Product?

There has been much discussion concerning loot boxes in the main stream media over the past few months, as to whether they should be considered as a gambling product and be regulated accordingly.

Indeed back at the beginning of 2018, the live casino comparison site, Live Casino Comparer, published a study and results of a survey that they undertook in December 2017, gauging as to whether loot boxes should be classed as gambling and regulated as such.

For interest the survey results which were published on 12th January 2018, can be viewed here and show that 60% of those surveyed, are of the view that loot boxes should be regulated as a gambling product.

More recently and fast forward to the final third of 2019 and the UK parliament are now investigating the role of loot boxes found in video and console games, which are invariably played by minors, individuals aged under 18.

The inquiry which was initiated by the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee, has found that loot boxes should be considered as a form of gambling and as such regulated accordingly.

The Immersive and Addictive Technologies Report which was released after the inquiry by DCMS had completed in the middle of September 2019, came up with several key findings and recommendations. Of which the main two recommendations being that they ( loot boxes ) should be classified as gambling and regulated as such. Plus they should be removed from all games aimed at children and UK ratings board PEGI should take the inclusion of loot boxes into account when rating a videogame.

The Chief Executive Officer of  UK Interactive Entertainment ( the body that represents the video game industry within the UK ), Dr Jo Twist, in response to the findings published within the Immersive and Addictive Technologies Report, commented: ”

“The video games industry has always, and will continue to, put the welfare of players at the heart of what we do. We will review these recommendations with utmost seriousness and consult with the industry on how we demonstrate further our commitment to player safety – especially concerning minors and vulnerable people.”

“It is important that we keep engaging constructively with a range of stakeholders, including MPs, regulators and law enforcement agencies because we support an evidence-based approach to modern policy making. We have consistently been in dialogue with government and other key partners about establishing an appropriate research framework and will continue to do so.”

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