Extend the Gambling Act to cover Loot Boxes

Video game companies avoid predatory Loot Boxes being defined as gambling on the technicality items received can't be redeemed for money despite clearly being gambling otherwise. Update the Gambling Act to include purchases providing randomized digital items even if they do not have monetary value.

46,413 Signatures

Status: Open
Opened: 5 Mar 2020, 2:34 p.m.
Daily signature rate : 290
Estimated Final Signatures: 53,712

Government Response

The government takes concerns around loot boxes very seriously and will be launching a call for evidence this summer. This will put us on the best footing to take whatever action is necessary.

Over half the UK population plays games, the vast majority engaging safely with content that allows them to enjoy fun, exciting play, find moments of relaxation, socialise, and learn new skills. However, technology in video games is constantly evolving and it is important that government policy reflects this.

We also believe the approach to protecting young people and vulnerable people should be based on evidence. To guide this approach, it will be important to understand fully the existing research around loot boxes, and how current protections and legislation work to keep people safe. That is why on the 8th June 2020 the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced in a written statement to Parliament that we will be launching an open call for evidence on loot boxes later on in the summer. This will also support the review of the Gambling Act 2005.

The loot box call for evidence will seek and examine further information on a range of issues. These include concerns that loot boxes might lead to an increase in problem gambling, particularly amongst young people. Other areas we will investigate include the size of the loot box market, the design of loot boxes, how loot boxes work alongside other types of in-game purchases, and the effectiveness of the current statutory and voluntary regulation.

In addition to a written call for evidence, we plan to hold a series of sessions to discuss issues and solutions in detail, including the most effective approaches to protect people from any harms identified. Full details of the call for evidence and how to respond will be announced shortly with initial findings expected by the end of the year.

The government stands ready to take action should the outcomes of the call for evidence support taking a new approach to ensure users, and particularly young people, are protected.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Top 10 Constituency Signatories to the Petition

Constituency Signatures % of Total Signatures MP Party-Constituency
534 1.15% Nickie Aiken Conservative
Cities of London and Westminster
180 0.39% Lucy Powell Labour (Co-op)
Manchester Central
163 0.35% Kim Johnson Labour
Liverpool, Riverside
120 0.26% Suella Braverman Conservative
110 0.24% Vicky Ford Conservative
110 0.24% Michael Gove Conservative
Surrey Heath
108 0.23% Mrs Maria Miller Conservative
108 0.23% Rebecca Long Bailey Labour
Salford and Eccles
105 0.23% Claire Hanna Social Democratic & Labour Party
Belfast South
104 0.22% Mr Shailesh Vara Conservative
North West Cambridgeshire
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Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

5,427 signatures - 12.0% of total

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