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UK Parliament To "Continue To Monitor" The Loot Box Situation

Paper published in March outlines the rules

Daniel Zeichner MP submitted a question to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, asking what he plans to do about loot boxes which many see as gambling.

It was answered by Tracey Crouch MP from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, who points out that in March this year a paper regarding in-game gambling and loot boxes was published. In short it states that unless the digital items found in loot boxes can be traded for real money, then they do not fall under gambling regulations.

One commonly used method for players to acquire in-game items is through the purchase of keys from the games publisher to unlock ‘crates’, ‘cases’ or ‘bundles’ which contain an unknown quantity and value of in-game items as a prize. The payment of a stake (key) for the opportunity to win a prize (in-game items) determined (or presented as determined) at random bears a close resemblance, for instance, to the playing of a gaming machine. Where there are readily accessible opportunities to cash in or exchange those awarded in-game items for money or money’s worth those elements of the game are likely to be considered licensable gambling activities

Tracey states that the government is committed to “protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling,” and adds the following:

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.

Source: UK Parliament

One Comment
  1. TheShepanator
    Since: Nov 2009

    Now the question is: are “steam dollars” equivalent to real money? Valve go to great lengths to explain that it’s NOT in their T&Cs, but you could argue that it’s a fiat of real money, seeing as it can be exchanged for (an albeit limited selection of) real goods.

    I would love to see lootboxes die (at least ones that contain gameplay enhancing items), but all this might do is kill the steam marketplace

    Comment posted on 18/10/2017 at 14:39.