Gambling Crackdown May Target Gaming's Loot Boxes

By Gary Cutlack on at

Labour's Tom Watson has been a one-man anti-gambling crusader of late, railing particularly hard against the modern form of thievery that is branded as fixed-odds betting. He's now turning his sights on another bizarre form of money-taking system – the beloved video game loot box.

Watson has hinted that he's to ask the Gambling Commission to take a harder look at the issue of the loot box trend, as he's concerned that the gambling element of buying fictional boxes containing fictional items for real money is an issue, and is even suggesting that such early years beginner gambling might be a "gateway" to maxing out your credit cards on Grand National day or betting your child's ISA on Tyson Fury in later years.

A spokesperson for the Gambling Commission said it's already capable of stepping in should game activity cross the line into tawdry financial misdirection, though, and added: "We have joined forces with other regulators to call on video games companies to address the clear public concern around the risks gambling and some video games can pose to children. We encourage video games companies to work with their gambling regulators and take action now to address those concerns to make sure that consumers, and particularly children, are protected."

Watson's comments came in a wider call to action on online gambling, which he's hoping might lead to price caps on online bet placements and limits on how much can be placed on your favourite lucky horse/boxer/striker in a period of time. [Guardian]

Image credit: Kotaku UK