What's new

Loot boxes in video games gambling?

Loot boxes are in-game rewards that can either be earned by playing the game or you also have the option to purchase them using real money. For those who tend to purchase them using real money, it can be quite addictive and therefore has caused a debate as to whether loot boxes in games promote and encourage gambling and should, therefore, have a warning about being gamble aware.

With loot boxes, you are not guaranteed to get something you want whether you received the loot box through playing the game or through a real-money purchase which means those who purchased the loot boxes with real money can easily become addicted until they get the item they want in the game. So far, there has been no law passed which states video game creators must have warnings.

A House of Commons committee has advised that loot boxes in video games should be regulated as gambling. They have also advised that children should be barred from purchasing loot boxes from video games as well as they can be addictive. As it stands right now, there is no law in place that states video game developers have to put any kind of warning on their games in terms of gambling. So far only Belgium has classed loot boxes as gambling but they have only removed them from sale and not obtained a new gambling license.

A survey by the Gambling Commission was published in 2018 which found that 31% of children aged between 11 and 16 had purchased loot boxes in games. One gamer even admitted to MP's that he was spending up to £1000 a year on Fifa in hopes to win better players for his team on the game.

Unfortunately, because of video games being completely different to actual online gambling, simply changing the current legislation they have now would not be enough, they would have to create a whole new gambling act that would fit the digital age.

Either way, you look at this, something does eventually need to be done as with the way things stand right now, gambling is becoming more addictive for those who play the games with the loot boxes and if something is not done soon, it may get out of hand.