UK petition forces government to respond to loot boxes

By reaching over 10k signatures.

A petition for gambling laws to cover video games with gambling mechanics has passed 10k signatures, requiring attention from the UK government.

All petitions that pass 10,000 signatures warrant a response from the UK government. The petition in question directly calls out loot boxes, stating “Gambling in video games mostly involves 'loot boxes' where players use virtual currency (often bought with real money) to earn in game items often worth less than what they paid (sometimes more) hence its gambling.” It proposes that, while not currently treated as gambling, these mechanics copy many traits to make the process as addictive as possible and can lead to a loss or earning of real money.

No response has yet been made, and it remains to be seen whether the government will recognise concerns on this front. The Gambling Commission recently reported they do not define loot boxes as gambling as items won have no real-world value, a questionable statement considering the price of many items on Steam’s marketplace. Gaming rating boards have therefore not updated to include gambling disclaimers for such titles, but if world governments begin to take interest, this could result in a change.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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