With the addition of Jonathan Peniket as the firm’s online gaming and esports consultant, EPIC Risk Management has strengthened its ranks.
He will collaborate with the organisation to reduce gambling-related harm associated with the esports and gaming industry as part of Jonathon ‘s duties. In addition, the distribution of sessions in the company’s education and professional sports pillars for the US, UK and Europe will be especially emphasised.
In recent years , the issue of loot boxes and in-game spending has triggered considerable controversy and continues to come under further scrutiny from legislators. There are no clear laws targeting loot boxes in the United States as of now, but Belgium has already banned the use of loot boxes in games in 2018. In addition, Pegi gaming-rating agency also promises clearer and more detailed ratings to warn whether loot boxes and other random paying products are available for a game.
Peniket said: “I am proud and excited to be joining this team as a gaming and esports consultant. EPIC contacted me after I told my story about loot box addiction on the BBC earlier this year. I feel that it is helping me to make a real difference in educating on the very real dangers of gambling within video games. Though gaming may be a slightly new angle for EPIC, it is one that the company takes seriously, and I am grateful to be able to use my expertise to help it to tackle issues within gaming.”
Last month, across the pond, the United Kingdom Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a request for evidence on the effects of loot boxes in video games in an attempt to investigate increasing concerns that they may facilitate problem gambling or compulsive behaviours.
As for the appointment, the CEO of Paul Buck EPIC stressed that Peniket would become a valuable asset to the organisation as it aims, along with a new advisory board, to improve its esports and gaming department.
Buck added: “We’re delighted to bring Jonathan into EPIC Risk Management. Jonathan brings to EPIC his own Lived Experience and is a passionate advocate for educating younger people and their significant others of the potential dangers of online gaming and loot-boxes.
“The esports and gaming landscape is an area that is receiving more and more scrutiny and the recent House of Lords Gambling Committee calls for evidence and discussions concerning video game loot boxes in a real signifier of that. We feel that with Jonathan on-board, added to a new advisory board of leading experts to be announced in the coming days, we have someone who can help shape our approach and help connect with an extremely important demographic.”