The House of Lords Gambling Committee believes video game loot-boxes should be regulated under gambling laws and should be brought under the “Gambling Act 2005.” The Lords also note that this act should be swift and executed without hesitation.
That’s correct, the Lords have spoken and believe that loot-boxes in video games should be regulated and deemed as gambling since they go by the motto: “If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling.”
The above information comes from bbc.com (archive.org), which expands on the growing concern of loot-boxes and what The House of Lords Gambling Committee think the outcome should be.
With that said, here’s the Lords’ response regarding loot-boxes:
“If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling. The government must act immediately to bring loot boxes within the remit of gambling legislation and regulation.”
One of the Lords stepped forward, namely Lord Grade, who stands as chairman of the committee, and told the BBC Breakfast that other countries have already started to manage loot-boxes because of their “dangers.” Here’s an excerpt from the BBC citing Lord Grade saying the following:
“Lord Grade, chairman of the committee, told BBC Breakfast that lots of other countries have already started to regulate loot boxes because “they can see the dangers” which is teaching “kids to gamble.”
He said the Gambling Act was “way behind what was actually happening in the market” but he added that the “overwhelming majority” of the report’s recommendations “could be enacted today” as they don’t require legislation.”
It’s worth noting that the Lords and their report covers the entire gambling industry. However, they are focusing on new forms of gambling and those aimed at children.
In addition to the above, the Lords conclude that ministers should make new regulations so that the gambling definition should apply to any other in-game item paid for with real money, much like FIFA player packs:
“There is academic research which proves that there is a connection, though not necessarily a causal link, between loot box spending and problem gambling.”
You can read the full report by heading on over to bbc.com (archive.org).