Ever since they exploded into mainstream gaming in Overwatch, people have widely regarded loot boxes as immoral. Many see them as a form of gambling, something which the House of Lords in the UK seem to agree with. In an independent report, the House of Lords Gambling Committee stated that loot boxes classify as “games of chance”. This would qualify the controversial boxes under the Gambling Act 2005. This act would basically make games that offer random prizes that can be used for trade or have monetary value eligible for legislation.
Chairman of the Committee, Lord Grade, talked with the BBC in further detail in a recent interview. He goes on to say that loot boxes teach “kids to gamble”. He also states that recommendations in the report “could be enacted today” as they don’t require legislation. What’s clear is that there is now overwhelming pressure on the UK Government to takes some kind of stance. The House of Lords have little power in government, but their report could prompt the government to do something.
Even then, this adds to the ever-growing list of countries taking steps to regulate loot boxes. Last year, Belgium banned them outright after the loot box debacle surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II. Senators in Hawaii introduced bills that would prohibit the sale of loot boxes to anyone under the age of 21. Officials are starting to notice the dangers of loot boxes, and with this report from the House of Lords, it seems like only a matter of time until loot boxes are regulated in Britain.