Friday, September 30, 2022
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GambleAware Responds to UK Government Over Loot Boxes Usage

GambleAware, a reputable UK organization that helps players with gambling problems, has published a statement in which it responds to the government of the country over the use of loot boxes in video games. In the statement, GambleAware says that it hopes that the new government will consider legislative action on their use, especially when it comes to limiting access to these products. 

Children and Young People Should Not Have Access to Loot Boxes 

In its statement, GambleAware notes that the groups that should have limited access to loot boxes are children and young people. Its main argument is that research shows that loot boxes are “psychologically akin to gambling.” 

Furthermore, GambleAware states that as an organization, it has been concerned about the usage of loot boxes for a long time now. It says that loot boxes are used by 40% of children that play games on a regular basis and they lead to the normalization of gambling-related activities. 

Basically, loot boxes allow players to buy a box with real money. This box may contain a power-up that allows players to compete in the game at a higher level. 

As a concluding note, GambleAware stated that gambling is part of the everyday lives of younger people and children are extremely vulnerable to gambling harm. It alluded to the National Audit Office, which states that there are around 55,000 between the ages of 11-16 that are experiencing gambling harm and 85,000 that are at risk of developing gambling harm in the UK. 

GambleAware recently launched aftercare and community programs and as an organization that wants to prevent gambling harm, it voiced its displeasure with the continuous delay of the publication of the new Gambling Act whitepaper. 

The Government Acknowledged the Risks That Are Brought by Loot Boxes 

The DCMS launched the call for evidence on video game loot boxes in September 2020. The UK government carefully analyzed the evidence that was submitted and last week, it published its response. 

Protecting the younger generations was among the first things that the UK government called for and in its response, it acknowledged the fact that loot boxes are compelling children towards gambling-related activities. GambleAware was quick to salute the fact that the government acknowledged the risks that are brought by loot boxes. 

Additionally, the government stated that it “wants to see improved protections” for all players – young and adults, when it comes to the usage of loot boxes. 

To achieve this, the government stated that purchasing loot boxes shouldn’t be available to children and young people unless they are green-lit by parents/guardians. 

Next, all players should be aware and have access to transparent information related to supporting safe and responsible gambling. Finally, better evidence and research should be brought so that the data can be used to regulate loot boxes in the most effective way. In terms of future actions that should be taken in connection to loot boxes, the government considers three responses – improved industry-led protections, increasing consumer protections, and making changes to the UK Gambling Act. The government has been under a lot of scrutiny for the delays related to the review of the Gambling Act.

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