Gambling: Video Games

(asked on 31st January 2024) - View Source

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department plans to take steps to help prevent prevent a potential normalisation of gambling among young people via loot boxes in Apps and video games.

Answered by
Julia Lopez Portrait
Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
This question was answered on 7th February 2024

Following the Government response to the call for evidence on loot boxes in video games, the Government has welcomed new industry-led guidance that aims to address the concerns identified for all players, including young people.

Measures to protect players should ensure that the purchase of loot boxes should be unavailable to all children and young people unless enabled by a parent or guardian, and all players should have access to, and be aware of, spending controls and transparent information to support safe and responsible gameplay.

The Government has agreed a 12-month implementation period for the new guidance on loot boxes and has asked the industry, coordinated by Ukie, to report back to DCMS on the extent to which it has been implemented.

We will continue to keep our position on possible future legislative options under review, informed by academic scrutiny of the industry-led measures. We will provide a further update in due course, following the 12-month implementation period.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, gambling is defined as playing a game of chance for a prize of money or money’s worth. The prizes that can be won via most loot boxes do not have a monetary value, cannot be cashed-out, and are of value only within the context of the game. They therefore do not meet that definition. As set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence, there are also a number of disadvantages to changing the definition of gambling including the likelihood of capturing unintended activities, creating logistical difficulties in increasing the remit of the Gambling Commission, and undermining gambling taxation.

Reticulating Splines