Published in Gaming

Loot boxes make kids gamble

by on21 January 2020

NHS mental health director worries

Claire Murdoch, mental health director of England's National Health Service (NHS), has reignited the loot box controversy claiming they push young people into "under the radar" gambling.

Loot boxes aren't regulated by England's Gambling Commission because their contents can't be monetised, however, Murdoch thinks that this is a "loophole" because "third party websites selling gaming accounts and rare items are commonplace and easy to find on places such as eBay across the internet".

Murdoch said that no company should be setting kids up for addiction by teaching them to gamble on the content of these loot boxes.

"No firm should sell to children loot box games with this element of chance, so yes those sales should end."

Murdoch called on game publishers to ban games whose loot boxes encourage children to gamble, as well as to introduce spending limits, tell players the odds of receiving each item before they buy a loot box, and "support parents by increasing their awareness on the risks of in-game spending".

As for what those risks are, the report says, "Investigations have found numerous cases of children spending money without their parents' knowledge, including a 16-year-old paying 2,000 British Pounds on a basketball game and a 15-year-old losing 1,000 British Pounds in a shooting game".

Last modified on 21 January 2020
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