Daniel Zeichner, Labour MP for Cambridge, has submitted two questions with regards to loot boxes and whether they can be deemed as gambling

    For the past couple of weeks, a debate has been raging in the gaming community as to whether loot boxes can be considered gambling. The ESRB and PEGI have already responded stating that it would not be up to them to decide whether loot boxes could be deemed as gambling.

    Two questions have been (Q1 and Q2) posed by Zeichner to the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP. the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. They are as follows:

    To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of the Isle of Man’s enhanced protections against illegal and in-game gambling and loot boxes; and what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on adopting such protections in the UK.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she plans to take to help protect vulnerable adults and children from illegal gambling, in-game gambling and loot boxes within computer games.

    The questions were asked by Cambridge constituent and NeoGaf users Audioboxer after meeting Zeichner two weeks ago. A petition has also been set up for UK residents to have the following question asked in Parliament.

    Adapt gambling laws to include gambling in video games which targets children.

    Many video game companies in recent years have introduced mechanics which are essentially gambling of which are targeted at children and vulnerable adults. While not currently considers gambling by law they do copy many traits to make them as addictive and can lead to real money being lost/earned.

    The petition has now reached more than 10,00 signatures but needs to reach 100,000 signatures to have the question raised and debated in Parliament. It will be interesting to see whether the petition will gather pace. It’s a hot topic right now and opinion is split. What are your thoughts on loot boxes? Is it gambling?

    Paul Younger
    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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