The UK Government is currently in the process of reviewing their 2005 Gaming Act as they look to make things a lot more stringent for licensed gambling operators. This gambling act covers England, Wales and Scotland.
Scottish MP Ronnie Cowan is calling for an entire overhaul of the archaic gambling law and says it would be very disappointing if there were only minor tweaks. The big concern that MP Cowan has is that the review will not properly address problem gambling harm or worse it will be a watered down review to appease the powerful gambling lobby.
MP Cowan also issued a warning to Scottish parents asking them to educate themselves on the dangers of loot boxes. He said they need to be aware of what video games they children are asking them to get as Christmas presents.
Popular PlayStation and Xbox games like Overwatch, Fortnite and Fifa are going to be in huge demand over the Christmas season.
Ronnie Cowan SNP
However, all of these games have loot boxes in them which is what MP Cowan is concerned about. Cowan is the vice-chairman on gambling related harm for the Westminister committee. He wants parents to be aware that these loot boxes which allow in-game purchases opens the door for children to develop a gambling addiction.
Loot boxes have been a subject of controversy for the last couple of years. Belgium and the Netherlands have already amended their gaming laws to ban loot boxes. These countries have classified loot boxes as gambling as it allows players to make in-game purchases and buy loot boxes which have special items.
Players have no idea what items are in these loot boxes. They use these items to progress to the next level in the video game and increase their chances of winning. MP Cowan believes that the UK must also ban loot boxes and classify them as gambling related products.
Loot Boxes Only For Players Over 18
The Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) which is also campaigning for more stringent gaming laws has called for the government to make video games with loot boxes available only to individuals who are over the age of 18.
GHA has launched a campaign to get the government to recognize the dangers of loot boxes and provide players below 18 better protection.