It seems unlikely that the UK government can get away without addressing the issue of loot boxes as there have been several voices demanding that it be classified as gambling. Not only parliamentarians but also officials have voiced their concerns.
The most recent to call for regulating and classifying loot boxes as gambling in England is the Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield.
In a report titled “Gaming The System”, published today, Longfield calls for regulating the microtransactions and loot boxes. The report calls for authorities to bring loot boxes in the purview of the existing gambling regulation and limit the daily spending amount on such platforms.
Loot Boxes are unique features in video games and apps that allow a user to unlock rewards upon payment or after performing a particular task.
“Children have told us they worry they are gambling when they buy loot boxes, and it’s clear some children are spending hundreds of pounds chasing their losses,” Longfield explains. “I want the government to classify loot boxes in games like FIFA as a form of gambling.”
Demanding that loot boxes be regulated under the Gambling Act the UK lawmakers have said that loot boxes are a game of chance and are nothing but gambling.
However, Gaming Regulators’ European Forum (GREF), in its recent report on Loot boxes, has refrained from introducing any specific measures. The members of the European gambling regulatory body recently concluded their year-long study into gambling-like microtransactions in video games.
The study was undertaken by gambling regulators of 19 countries including Malta, The Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and France.
The findings have been published by the French regulator Arjel.