A new report has been published stating that although Sweden may not be regulating loot boxes as gambling, the Consumer Agency has been “instructed” to review casino-like elements of gaming mechanics, where the agency has been directed to unveil its findings by October 1st, 2019.
Publication site gamesindustry.biz had the chance to talk to a Dataspelsbranschen spokesperson via Strömbäck, in which the spokesperson claims this move/investigation is more of a protection act on the consumer’s behalf rather than a gambling regulation.
This information comes in after last week, where Ardalan Shekarabi — the Minister for Public Administration — told the Swedish Consumer Agency to review consumer protection measures for lottery or casino-like mechanics in video games. As noted above, this act is to “ensure they are sufficiently protecting customers,” and in this case “particularly children and young adults.” The agency must produce information on its findings late this year — on October 1st, 2019.
Despite gamesindustry.biz noting that Sweden isn’t regulating loot-boxes as gambling, a legal investigation hasn’t been ruled out in this case regarding MTX:
“Speaking on behalf of the industry, we welcome this initiative. We agree that it is a consumer protection issue (rather than gambling regulation as some have suggested) and welcome support and guidance in protecting the consumers. The industry has of course already taken action in light of the criticism, through the introduction of new indicators in the age rating systems and in Sweden we are in the process of starting a scientific advisory council on responsible game design (not limited to business models).”
October 1st will be the bearer of good news, bad news, or information that will change absolutely nothing. In the meantime, the Swedish Consumer Agency is reviewing consumer protection measures pertaining to casino-like elements in games for customer (mainly relating to minors) protection.
Anyway, what’re your thoughts on this investigation? Do you think it’s a waste of time or something that will bring a substantial change (for better or for worse)?