UK Gambling Commission Has "Significant Concerns" About Loot Boxes, But Doesn't Call Them Gambling
It seems like the UK has way too many officials who are being quoted on the subject of loot boxes in gaming. A few weeks ago, it was the digital minister, but now the people actually responsible for gambling law in the country are weighing in.
As reported by the BBC, two members of the UK Gambling Commission weighed in recently on the thorny subject of loot boxes. The commission's programme director, Brad Enright, stated that "There is unquestionably a demand for a secondary market" for items such as FIFA's player cards, posing the question to game developers, "we can see you have T&Cs [Terms and Conditions], what are you doing to apply them?" In other words, developers acknowledging that these types of things are illegal is all well and good, but unless they take action to shut down such illicit activities, it amounts to tacit approval.
The commission's chief executive, Neil McCarthur, added that there were "significant concerns" about loot boxes, but that the legislation, as it's currently written, did not define them as gambling, saying:
"There are other examples of things that look and feel like gambling that legislation tells you are not - [such as] some prize competitions but because they have free play or free entry they are not gambling... but they are a lot like a lottery."
Enright added that he didn't think it was up to the Gambling Commission to monitor video games, instead saying that "We think Valve in the US should do more." (In that case, he's probably talking more about skin betting in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and not players in packs for FIFA, which is made by Electronic Arts.)
I'll just keep going back to my old piece about early mixed martial arts tournaments and how they weren't boxing, and therefore couldn't be regulated by the state's boxing commission. Eventually, though, they were regulated, and sensibly so.
Officials in the UK might agree that loot boxes aren't gambling, but that they "are a lot like a lottery" and they have "significant concerns" about them. Maybe the gambling commission won't regulate them, but they could be covered by a different, or entirely new, government agency that might deal with them in a way that game developers don't like very much.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
You May Enjoy
Swords Of Legends Online Celebrates Moon Festival
New harder dungeons and raid also arrive tomorrow.By Jason Winter - 2 days ago
The New Reaper Class Has Arrived In V4 And It Can Play Itself, Too
The Reaper is accompanied by a new Skill Mastery System and Legendary Class Skills in the game’s latest update.By QuintLyn Bowers - 2 weeks ago
Next Gen Console Versions of Black Desert Online Are In The Works
The news came in a letter specifically addressing the console versions of the game.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 day ago
World Of Warships Celebrates Sixth Anniversary
Dutch cruisers and Soviet carriers join the party.By Jason Winter - 1 week ago
Get Your Regalia Mount In FFXIV Now As The FFXV Crossover Returns
It'll cost you 200,00 Gold Saucer points, but it is pretty sweet!By Michael Byrne - 3 days ago
Aliens: Fireteam Elite - Gameplay First Look (HD)
Is this 3v3 coop shooter worth the $40 minimum price tag?By Michael Byrne - 2 weeks ago