European Regulators Reject Specific Loot Box Recommendations

Members of the Gaming Regulators’ European Forum (GREF) finished their year-long survey of gambling-like micro-transactions in video games, but chose against particular suggestions to implement feature-based policies.

In September 2017, a survey on gambling-like micro-transactions, including “loot boxes,” was initiated by gambling officials from 19 nations including Malta, The Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and France. The results of the were released in a report released today by French agency Arjel (2 October).

The representatives of the GREF indicated that they didn not think it could advise the implementation of loot box gambling regulation, as how they could be controlled would rely on the concept of gambling by each country.

“It is recognised that whether these activities ultimately trigger the implementation of gambling regulation, would depend on each national gambling definition,” the report said.

Instead, the authorities urged customer organisations to adopt the action to introduce feature-related laws.

“[GREF members] highlight the need for involvement of national authorities responsible for consumer protection, health, education as well as digital and financial regulation,” the report added. “Consumer protection associations are encouraged to make recommendations in this direction: for example, the communication before the purchase of the loot-box content and the probabilities of obtaining a particular virtual item.”

GREF participants also indicated that there was a need for higher parental knowledge and a need for further dialog to generate alternatives to the problem of loot boxes, which it’s believed “expose and acclimatise,” youngsters to gambling.

“Regarding minors, [GREF members highlight] awareness of parents, including the incentive for use of parental control in a systematic way; as well as the need to maintain a frank and productive dialogue with sector organisations to agree on more protective solutions, particularly amongst young people,” the report said.



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