The upper house of the British Parliament demanded the “urgent” regulation of titles like FIFA, whose Ultimate Team modality could be classified as a game of chance.
“If a product looks like a game of chance and offers experiences as such, it should be regulated as a game of chance,” said a report by the House of Lords Gaming Committee.
According to a statement from the legislative body, “the government must act immediately to put the” loot boxes “within the scope of the law and regulation of the game.”
Loot boxes were rated as a “controversial” item in the video game industry by BBC News.
“They offer players the chance for a random reward when they open. To further complicate matters, they can often be purchased for real money and the rewards can sometimes be exchanged, “he explained.
Without specifying which or how, Lord Michael Grade, who chairs the committee, said that “many countries” are already regulating video games, since there is a “danger” in teaching children to gamble.
“There is academic research that proves that there is a connection, although not necessarily a causal link, between spending a ‘loot box’ and gambling,” he said.
For the representative, the British legislation is “far behind what was really happening in the market”.
In an interview with the BBC Breakfast space, he added that the “overwhelming majority” of the report’s recommendations “could be enacted right now”, since they do not require legislation.
According to the British network, the report is broad and covers the entire video game industry, but focuses on “new forms of betting and those aimed at children”.
Expert David Zendle emphasized that spending on “loot boxes” causes problems because of their similarity to gambling or because people with gambling problems spend more than they should on them.
The connection is “extraordinarily strong,” said the also York University academic.
The BBC added that the Lords’ report concludes that “new regulations must be made explicitly stating that ‘loot boxes’ are games of chance.”
It also says that the same definition should apply to any other elements of the game paid for with real money, such as FIFA envelopes.