Amidst intensifying debate around loot boxes and random monetization of video games, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) maintains that loot boxes are not gambling.
Earlier this week, US Senator Josh Hawley announced the outline of a new bill calling for a ban on monetizing video games. He is also seeking enhanced and revised consumer protection measures for video games in the US.
The fact that video games and loot boxes are becoming increasingly popular among children is also the reason why many social and consumer protection groups are voicing their concern about the monetization of video games.
While the regulations governing video games are different in different countries, studies have come out which suggest that loot boxes and gambling are linked. A recent University of British Columbia research says that loot boxes and gambling are similar and that it can lead to gambling addiction.
Following the investigations into loot boxes, countries like Belgium and China have outlawed monetization of video games.
China recently banned all poker related video games. Gambling is illegal in China, and they have forbidden monetization of video games to ensure that gambling is not offered in disguise of video games.
However, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has contested that there is no clear evidence which proves that loot boxes are the same as gambling. They also said that apart from a few countries most countries which have regulated gambling like the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand do not see video game monetization and loot boxes as gambling.
Earlier this week, Sweden also launched an investigation to study loot boxes, and the findings are due by early October this year.
Meanwhile Senator Hawley’s legislation -The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act – is already getting support from parents and other social groups.