UK Gambling Commission denies link between 'exposure to gambling' and loot boxes

UK Gambling Commission denies link between 'exposure to gambling' and loot boxes

The UK's Gambling Commission has downplayed the connection between video game loot boxes and gambling.

The organisation recently released a report entitled Young People and Gambling 2018 which said that 31 per cent of children between the ages of 11 and 16 had opened a loot box, with three per cent claiming to have bet on a game.

That 31 per cent was a figure picked up by the media as an indication of video games were helping expose children to gambling. The number of kids gambling has quadrupled in just two years.

Speaking to, a spokesperson for the organisation has said that children being exposed to gambling was unrelated to the increase in minors buying loot boxes. Well. The connection was not explicit.

"We've not in anyway, in the survey, referred to it as exposure to gambling," they said.

"The reason we've asked that question is that it's a very popular subject matter and we want to try and make sure that we have as much information and data around it as possible."

The body also commented on how different European countries have been approaching the topic. Belgium, for example, has declared them gambling and therefore illegal, while the Netherlands has taken issue with the real-world value of items.

"I think the confusion is... across Europe there are different views," the spokesperson continued.

"We are more aligned to what the Netherlands' stance is on it. Obviously, Belgium has taken its own stance on it."

A number of EU countries including the UK - and Washington State for some reason - have announced a partnership to address loot box concerns.

Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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