BBC News: Lords call for 'immediate' gambling regulation on loot boxes

The House of Lords Gambling Committee says video game loot boxes should be regulated under gambling laws.

The Lords say loot boxes should be classified as “games of chance” – which would bring them under the Gambling Act 2005.

“If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling,” their report says.

And they warn that such a change should not wait.

“The Government must act immediately to bring loot boxes within the remit of gambling legislation and regulation,” said a statement accompanying the report.

Loot boxes have long been controversial in video games. They offer players a chance at a randomised reward when opened. To further complicate matters, boxes can often be bought for real money, and the rewards can sometimes be traded.

The Lords report is wide-ranging, covering the entire gambling industry, but focuses in part on new forms of gambling, and those targeted towards children.

“There is academic research which proves that there is a connection, though not necessarily a causal link, between loot box spending and problem gambling,” it says.

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