parliament loot boxes

The UK Parliament Releases a Response About Loot Boxes

Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

(Editor’s Note: We accidentally had a picture of the New Zealand parliament, so I replaced it with one of Jezza instead. – Tyler)

There has been a lot of pressure from gamers lately involving the regulation of loot boxes, but currently there hasn’t been much of a response from various regulating companies. When PEGI made their statement, they mentioned that they “cannot define what constitutes gambling”, and as such it’s left up to the Gambling Commission and the government to determine whether loot boxes are gambling. One Redditor decided to ask their representative to poise the question to the UK Parliament in hopes for an answer, and they got one–but it’s not exactly anything definitive.

The answer is readily available on the UK Parliament’s website:

Where items obtained in a computer game can be traded or exchanged outside the game platform they acquire a monetary value, and where facilities for gambling with such items are offered to consumers located in Britain a Gambling Commission licence is required. If no licence is held, the Commission uses a wide range of regulatory powers to take action.

Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling is one of the core objectives of the regulation of gambling in Great Britain and a priority for the government. The Gambling Commission have a range of regulatory powers to take action where illegal gambling is taking place. Earlier this year the Gambling Commission successfully prosecuted the operators of a website providing illegal gambling facilities for in-game items which was accessible to children – the first regulator in the world to bring such an action.

The government recognise the risks that come from increasing convergence between gambling and computer games. The Gambling Commission is keeping this matter under review and will continue to monitor developments in the market.

Essentially, the Gaming Commission has a case open on the subject and are looking into it, but there’s nothing new to report.

This new update was originally covered by Waypoint on their on-going coverage on how various organizations are handling the loot box fiasco.

Are you hoping for more definitive answers soon?

[Source: Waypoint, Reddit, UK Parliament]