Listen: UK committee condemns loot boxes (‘surprise mechanics’) as gambling
"Spoken about loot boxes in video games before those kind of a tricky little gift boxes that you you can pay to open in some games and get a surprise gift and the quite controversial that back in the news. I'm it what's happened now. Yeah that's right so leaks have been the subject of phys that they might that the basic into gambling introducing under eighteen so the concept of gambling very early on kind of setting these bad behaviors in path for later on in life so this week the depart the digital culture medium committee publish his Report on immersive media and one of the things it looked at was leaked boxes so often yeah these are things like in like you said he in and FIFA ultimate team you can pay money to buy like a pack of players to unlock and you don't know he's going to be in the pack until after you've paid it might Lionel Messi it might Phil Jones it might be you you know the players after it might be kind of items like kits and that kind of thing but yeah these these growing consensus and the the committee has now recommended amended that the sale of boxes to children be banned or regulated under the Gambling Act so that's the House of Commons Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee in the the UK what actually mean in practice so it's a bit difficult to say but there are some lessons may be learned from looking at Belgium as a ways a EH in Belgium they the Belgian gaming commission basically published similar pull a couple of years ago and as a result of that leap boxes on are considered gambling in Belgium L. Jim said they are regulated under the time of the Belgian gambling laws so they they let fi first hours battlefront overwatch and counterstrike and they argued that the leap boxes the games were gambling. They didn't actually make them illegal but what it meant was that develops he wanted to include leap boxes in their games. That's anything from mobile games all the way through to let AAA like titles would have needed to apply for gambling license or face potential fines or prison time if they refuse to. DC obviously developers didn't want to go through the red tape of like actually getting a gambling license which would involve laying in government regulators look at software bunch of other life forms and bureaucracy so many of them just kind of pulled that that game from sale from town late in Belgium so a measuring. This didn't go down totally well with players. How do people react in Belgium will say yeah say he actually against a quite hard for quite a long time but in January eventually kind of caved in and stop the sale of fee for points which features like in game currency that you can use to buy these packs so you can't buy those points in Belgium anymore. You can still buy the packs but only with currency that you've earned from playing the game so you could get rewarded wooded for like unlocking certain level winning matches or whatever it might be so you can still use it for those topped up with your point from additional cash yet spoke to a couple of people in Belgium about this the the director of the Belgian Gaming Commission which obviously brought the law into force was obviously kind of saying ah it been well received mice plays welcome debt or they some Belgian sports players have complained that not being able to buy wheat boxes puts them. I've ever disadvantage compared to their international rivals. Although the guy spoke to kind of point out if you're relying on buying leap boxes to compete than maybe not as good as Heathrow anyway yeah it does seem like there was big impact in Belgium because I think that that you at this reporting around this was saying in general is makes like six hundred and fifty fifty million a year or one particular year did from these blue boxes within fever and everything so what does it really mean for the U K. Now the this committee recommended the blue boxes are treated as palme gambling hair as well. I mean we're quite far away from this actually becoming partly because committee recommendations don't often get picked up and partly because government is slightly distracted at the moment so the Games industries staying with the right things in response to this. We've reached out to a a couple of gaming industry body so we welcomed the government's report going to do what we can and they have some. They've taken some steps on Nintendo stadium. Experts Platforms because in your games you have to disclose the drop rates which is the kind of percentage of time that the items will come up and you have to get that information available to people people before they buy delete box they have. I guess a bit of transparency around it but as you said yesterday more than six hundred fifty million dollars from ultimate team in two thousand sixteen gene so it's likely to kind of fight against any attempts to legislate in the pasta has likened leap boxes to unit. Kim Drags not gambling. It's just a fun fun for the kids and in the Pacific in Belgium books was banned for everyone in the UK this report any recommends stopping them from being sold to under eighteens eighteens which would involve of age verification system but as we've learned from efforts to block in which have been repeatedly delayed. It's not actually that easy you to verify someone's age online so one thing that has been suggested call it by system where you can only buy your in game currency from physical shop so you can get idead and then you can then take that and use it to buy boxes but only if we're not supposedly stopped Jordan from doing it but there are a whole number of fluid the idea"