Sixteen international gambling regulators, fifteen in Europe and one from the United States, are planning to investigate loot boxes and other now commonplace monetary practices in video games. The investigation, announced today, could determine the future of loot boxes and other video game practices.
In a statement following the annual Gambling Regulators European Forum, the 16 regulators said that they are primarily concerned with underage minors exposed to some form of gambling. Children who are not responsible with funds, ostensibly gambling on virtual cosmetic items. The regulators represent the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Ireland, Poland, Washington State, among others.
“We are increasingly concerned with the risks being posed by the blurring of lines between gambling and other forms of digital entertainment such as video games,” the statement reads. “Concerns in this area have manifested themselves in controversies relating to skin betting, loot boxes, social casino gaming and the use of gambling themed content within video games available to children.”
These bodies could influence policy on video games, in turn effecting some of the biggest monetary aspects in some of the biggest games. Piercing through Overwatch‘s loot boxes, or skin betting in the CS:GO scene.
This is the first time that there has been an joint international effort against these monetary practices, but not the first campaign against them. The Belgian Gaming Commission already decided to ban loot boxes in the country. The move forced many developers to remove loot boxes from its games, and those who don’t face consequences. EA is now under criminal investigation for refusing to take them out of its popular FIFA titles.