The Australian Government has been advised by their Environment and Communications Reference Committee to take a close look at loot boxes within video games.
“A range of stakeholders including regulatory agencies, and academics told the committee that loot boxes should be assessed on a case-by-case basis,” states the report.”However, there was broad consensus that where real-world currency is exchanged… loot boxes may most closely meet the definitions of gambling (both regulatory and psychological), and therefore a range of risks to players may exist.”
They noted that loot boxes would need to considered on a case-by-case basis as they vary considerably, and that it will take years to work out any legislation. The report was welcomed by Australia’s Interactive Games and Entertainment Association who said it had a “measured and considered approach”.
Meanwhile over in the United States the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has promised to Congress that they will investigate loot boxes, stating they are “undertaking this project and keeping the committee informed about it.”
This stems from a wider discussion about Google, Facebook and other tech giants, and how they market themselves to children.