United Kingdom parliamentary inquiry recommends regulating loot boxes

MPs want to ban the sale of in-game loot boxes to children

MPs want to ban the sale of in-game loot boxes to children

Perhaps most crucically, the DCMS reccomends that in the absence of any research that proves that there is no harm in exposing children to gambling through loot boxes, a precautionary principle should apply, and they should not appear in games marketed to children such as Federation Internationale de Football Association 20 or the recent NBA 2K20 which PEGI originally decided not to reclassify after fan backlash to a trailer depicting loot boxes with casinos and slot machines.

The report by the digital, culture, media and sport committee also said it "struggled to get clear answers" from the games industry, describing firms as "wilfully obtuse".

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Loot boxes were found to make up a huge proportion of money made by big gaming organisations, but their purchase can come at a high cost to players.

In its conclusions, the DCMS says that the government should bring forward regulations for loot boxes under section 6 of the Gambling Act during the next parliamentary session to confirm that "loot boxes are a game of chance".

The Gambling Act was introduced back in 2005. He also says that it's about time that United Kingdom gambling laws caught up to the reality of the situation. But because it's not officially sanctioned by Electronic Arts, it's also not considered gambling.

As things now stand, loot boxes aren't covered by this law - something which the DCMS feels is wrong.

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Beyond that, the DCMS says that loot boxes should not be sold to children, and that PEGI ratings for games with loot boxes should label the content as 'gambling'.

The report concludes that "loot boxes that can be bought with real-world money and do not reveal their contents in advance to be games of chance played for money's worth".

The committee classes this as a form of gambling - and, as a result, feels should be regulated by the act.

Players pay real money for the virtual boxes and they earn gaming companies billions of pounds.

What else has the DCMS called for?

The report comes after nine months of evidence gathering, including a hearing conducted earlier this year that featured speakers from industry figures such as EA who called their use of loot boxes "Surprise Mechanics."

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