UK Gambling Commission Says Loot Boxes Cannot Be Categorized As A

Posted by Carolyn on Nov 26, 2017 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

The launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2 was expected to create major waves in the global gaming community as it was one billed as one of the top games to launch in 2017. Star Wars Battlefront 2 has received a lot of publicity in the last couple of weeks and one of the main reasons for that is due to the presence of loot boxes which many believe is the equivalent to gambling.

The controversial loot boxes allow players to make in-game purchases using real money that allows them to go to the next level. Without making these real money purchases, the game is not all that interesting and hence spending real cash to play the game becomes a key feature of Battlefront 2. Since the game is widely popular with the younger generation, especially those below the ages of 18, gaming regulators across a number of countries have expressed concern that the games developer, Electronic Arts was deliberately merging gaming with gambling.

Australia & Belgium Oppose Loot Boxes

Australia and Belgium were two of the first countries to admit that games such as Star Wars Battlefront 2 were dangerous for minors as it incorporated all of the excitement and features that made it borderline gambling. Gaming regulators in both countries wanted loot boxes to be banned and new gaming laws to be passed to ensure that other developers do not follow the same trend and create a bigger cause for concern. Chris Lee who is a legislator in Hawaii shared similar views and said that the Star Wars game was designed to lure children to spending money while playing the game.

Australia recently cracked down on online poker operators who were taking advantage of loopholes in the country’s gambling laws. Legislators passed amendments this year that made it illegal for online gambling operators to offer services without a license. Should gaming developers start releasing games with loot boxes and make them available in Australia, it would once again pose a serious problem for the gaming regulator. The Victorian State Gaming Regulator has already started proceedings to put laws in place to address this loophole.

In a statement, an analyst with the Victorian commission said “We are currently engaging with interstate and international counter parts to progress wider policy changes and to modernise and inform both federal and state-based legislation.”

UK Gambling Commission Okay With Loot Boxes

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is addressing a serious problem that deals with the rise in the number of underage gamblers. The UKGC has cracked down on a number of online gambling operators who have not complied with gaming regulations and have used marketing and advertising methods that deliberately targeted minors. The Commission has imposed hefty fines on a number of operators and sent out a notice to gaming operators in the country warning them to not employ any content that targets children.

While one might assume that games with loot boxes will be another problem for the UKCG, the Commission has ruled that loot boxes do not constitute gambling because the prizes won during the game cannot be cashed out and must be used only within the game.

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