May 28, 2022

UK House of Lords Calls for Immediate Regulation Over Loot Boxes

An end to the war on loot boxes may be in sight. The House of Lords has decreed that the UK Government should bring the same regulation used on other forms of gambling to loot boxes.

The UK has made a judgement on loot boxes, and it’s good news.

The House of Lords recently advised that loot boxes be brought “within the remit of gambling legislation and regulation”. That remit is to be enacted (almost) immediately.

In the report [Gambling Harm: Time for Action], the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry made sure to include dozens of different accounts and recommendations. All of this has been in an attempt to reduce any “gambling-related harm”.

A List of Evidence Has Been Given

Using findings from Dr David Zendle, the research notes that “loot box spending is linked to problem gambling [in] both adults and adolescents”. Furthermore, Dr Zendle found that “either loot boxes cause problem gambling, [or] they exploit problem gambling among gamers to generate profit”.

To this end, Dr Zendle and others state that “Ministers should make regulations under section 6(6) of the Gambling Act 2005 specifying that loot boxes [and any other similar games] are games of chance, without waiting for the Government’s wider review [of the Gambling Act]”.

Basically, loot boxes (and other predatory mechanics) should be regulated in the same way that other forms of gambling are. Unfortunately, despite the House of Lords report, the government don’t need to implement anything. Yet.

Naturally, with such a high level of political pressure on the issue now mounting, it shouldn’t be long until something is done about the issue.


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