The discourse surrounding video games promoting gambling has been gaining traction for quite some time. While some countries like China have a complete ban on any poker video game license, the debate is spurred in the US by several social groups and organizations.
However, this time the call to bring video games under the purview of revised consumer protection laws has gained a voice in the US Senate. Senator Josh Hawley announced the outline for a new bill which calls for restricting monetization of video games and also limiting such practices like loot boxes, which is becoming an increasingly popular practice with game developers.
Earlier this week, a British Columbia University study also established a link between loot boxes and gambling. When it comes to monetization of video games and loot boxes which are often linked to gambling the most vulnerable are the children.
Senator Hawley’s bill will push for the Federal Trade Commission to set proposed regulations and guidelines for video games developers and also penalize the offenders under unfair trade practices regulations.
The proposed legislation goes by the name of The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act.
Senator’s announcement has drawn a response from the Entertainment Software Association – a big group of industry stakeholders. The group said that “several countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, determined that loot boxes do not constitute gambling.”
Seeking to convince the Senator otherwise the association stated that they “look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending with parents.”