Home   >   News

The UK government is asking for evidence to determine if loot boxes are a form of gambling

Concerns are rising over child gambling addiction
The UK government is asking for evidence to determine if loot boxes are a form of gambling
Stay Informed
Get Industry News In Your Inbox…
Sign Up Today

The UK government will call for evidence to determine whether or not loot boxes are a form of gambling.

As reported by the Guardian – and confirmed by DCMS – The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will continue its investigation to find out if in-game loot boxes can lead a child to gambling problems.

"They are a virtually speculative commodity that only help to normalise and encourage young people to take a chance," said the Labour MP Carolyn Harris.

"All too often, this will lead to youngsters developing an addiction to gambling."

In September 2019, DCMS first recommended that the UK parliament regulate loot boxes as a form of gambling.

Coronavirus troubles

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, many people have turned to games as a means to pass the time when stuck at home, which has driven DCMS' decision.

"During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen more people than ever before turn to video games and immersive technology to keep them entertained and to stay in touch with friends and family," said Digital and Culture minister Caroline Dineage.

"These innovations can present challenges though as well as opportunities, which is why we are taking the necessary steps to protect users and promote the safe enjoyment of this dynamic industry."

Loot bans

Other countries have already deemed loot boxes to be a form of gambling, and as such, they have been banned.

In April 2018, the Belgian government claimed that loot boxes are a form of gambling, which makes them illegal in that country. Last year, following an ESA pledge, Epic Games confirmed it would be transparent about what would be in a loot box going forward.

After the American firm committed to transparency, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony claimed they would make developers reveal loot box odds for games starting this year.