The UK Gambling Commission expressed concerns about a tight connection between gambling and video games. The regulator is not alone in this, however. As the UK watchdog explained, gambling regulators from 14 other countries and one US state share the same concerns. The regulators agreed to work together on addressing this issue. Their goal is to initiate “a constructive dialog” between gaming companies and gambling regulatory bodies.
“We have joined forces to call on video games companies to address the clear public concern around the risks gambling, and some video games can pose to children,” said UKGC’s Neil McArthur. Commission’s Chief Executive added that he hopes gaming companies will start the talks with regulatory authorities on how to best protect consumers, and especially children.
According to the UKGC, there are four problematic areas that gaming companies should pay attention to. Loot boxes fall into one of these categories. They allow players to use real money for purchasing various virtual rewards. In countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, loot boxes have already been labelled as gambling. Meanwhile, many other countries are trying to do the same.
Next, we have social casinos that come with virtual gambling chips. While these games are free to play, users can buy chips if they don’t want to wait for their lives to replenish. Skin betting is another reason for concern as it allows players to wager real money to get game items, while the fourth problematic area relates to using gambling-related themes in games available to children.
We’ll soon see if and what changes the first international effort of this kind will bring.
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