UKGC to Investigate Loot Boxes

This story was published more than 2 years ago.

This week the UK Gambling Commission announced that they've joined the growing number of gaming regulators around the world investigating video game lootboxes, which have been compared to gambling.

Lootboxes are virtual products that video game players pay real money or earn in-game, and can award custom skins or other items such as ships. These items are doled out randomly, with rarer goods being harder to come by. Players have no idea what they're getting when they purchase the boxes, but hope that they'll get the best return on investment.

The boxes have come under scrutiny, given the young ages of many players. Many feel that the boxes are akin to gambling, allowing underage players the chance to become addicted, much in the way a slot machine or blackjack table could cause.

The UKGC has joined on with fifteen other gaming regulators with the goal of investigating the boxes and coming up with solutions that will impact the boxes moving forward. The joint group spoke about the boxes, revealing: "We are increasingly concerned with the risks being posed by the blurring of lines between gambling and other forms of digital entertainment such as video gaming."

A UKGC spokesperson added: "Where in-game items that are derived from loot boxes can be readily exchanged for cash, the loot boxes themselves are likely to fall within the definition of gambling. The greater the availability, scale and sophistication of secondary markets where the in-game items can be sold the stronger the case becomes that the in-game items are articles of money or money's worth."

We're keeping our ears to the ground and will update readers as we learn more.

About the author

Therese Williams // UK Correspondent
Therese Williams
Therese is a fervent fan of slot machines and pub fruities, often trying her luck at some of the top online casinos. She covers news for Casino Listings with a focus on the UK and Europe. Therese studied arts and creative writing at university and has written for newspapers in the UK.
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bgsharpe
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26 September 2018 - 6:54pm
#1

Never played at that but seems to me the UKGC and the rest have a point there stating that this game have some similarities to the gambling games and could cause some kind of an addiction.

I think the solution is simple, just cut the game off for those who's under the needed age for gambling in any particular country or region out there and the kids should be safe.

auCL-Ed
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27 September 2018 - 1:09am
#2

From someone who you know likes to gamble, I hate what loot boxes have done to video games. So many games now are free to play but the trade off is you have to grind for loads of time to get anywhere or pay money for random items that speed things up. And the games are obviously designed to make you buy them. I get sick of my kids nagging me to buy them stupid crap in these games and the only real reason is because "it looks cool" or "someone else has it". They are a cancer on video games and I support moves to get rid of them.

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bgsharpe
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27 September 2018 - 6:21pm
#3

Yeah, many online games requires you to pay for some kind of items to progress faster over levels or something like that these days, even I know that despite that I've had never paid for something like this.

I could imagine what is like when your kids asking for that Ed, so commiserations..I just have to say no to my girlfriend for now.