The UK Government Wants to Know If You Think Loot Boxes Are GamblingSeptember 23, 2020
As part of a consultation on loot boxes, the UK government is looking to hear from “video games players and adults responsible for children and young people who play video games” to figure out if they “may encourage or lead to problem gambling.”
Surveys can be filled out here and will inform the government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005, which could lead to new regulations on loot boxes. The call for evidence will run until the 22 November 2020, and is also seeking consultation from video game businesses, researchers and organizations.
Back in January 2020, England’s top mental health nurse Claire Murdoch released a report calling for a review of microtransactions, noting that loot boxes were “setting kids up for addiction.” The UK government then formally announced a call for evidence in June 2020, to “gather evidence and understand the impact of loot boxes.”
In August 2019 it was announced that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo were working on new loot box policies that would disclose a range of odds for a player’s purchase. The ESRB recently launched a new ratings label that will inform consumers about whether a game includes random items as part of its in-game purchasing system.
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.