RSPH Urges Action to Limit Harmful Loot Boxes Effects

The RSPH has asked regulators, educators and video game makers to pooltheir efforts and focus on educating underage gamers on how loot boxes couldlead to gambling addiction.

RSPH Calls for Alternative Approach to Loot Boxes

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has become the latest body to call fortighter regulation of loot boxes. Specifically, the RSPH has urged the videoindustry to alter the content it releases for audience younger than 18 yearsof age.

The RSPH has equally appealed to video game developers to start monitoring loot boxes sales ps, similar to how sportsbooks and casinos monitor behavior to identify overspending and reckless gaming behavior.

Equally, the society has called for developers to try and educate players on the potential downsides of overspending on loot boxes and the risks that carried in relation to developing gambling addiction.

Our Chief Executive, @ShirleyCramer28, on our new report #SkinsInTheGame.

Read our report, including it's findings and recommendations here ? https://t.co/rNmcHyxZfD pic.twitter.com/xNC1ZteFha

— RSPH (@R_S_P_H) December 20, 2019

Epic Games, Fortnite’s developing company, has already taken a step in the right dire lg777 ction by introducing more transparent rules for its loot boxes. The company completely ditched loot boxes in another flagship title, Rocket League.

Loot Boxes on the School Curriculum

The RSPH firmly believes that the issue of problem gambling should be part of the Health Education Curriculum. Experts should focus on working with parents and students to help identify problem gambling behavior and nip it in the bud.

Some 550,000 children in the United Kingdom are believed to gamble on regular basis. RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer had this to say:

Young people have told us that gambling and gambling-like activity are slowly but surely polluting hobbies and past-times that have traditionally been beneficial to their wellbeing.

According to GambleAware findings some 90% of all respondentsaged between 11 and 24 said that loot boxes were a natural part of video gamesand so was buying them. Estimated 67% said participating in skin bettingcontests is also normal.

Yet, skin betting has been the one activity to be prosecuted as afacilitator of underage gambling. Valve, the company behind blockbusters suchas Counter-Strike and Dota 2, faced a lawsuit back in 2016for allegedly aiding underage gambling activities.

The accusations weren’t true, but it prompted Valve to start monitoringhow skins are used by third-parties. Valve quickly moved to issuecease-and-desist letters.

The Youngest More Likely to Purchase Loot Boxes

The survey also revealed that individuals aged between 11 and 14 yearsold were far more likely to snap up loot boxes as opposed to individuals aged18 and older. Apparently, loot boxes held better appeal amongst youngsters.

The group also didn’t see loot boxes as a form of gambling. Yet, Cramerhas said that both respondents and the RSPH acknowledge the gambling-likemechanics introduced by loot boxes:

“The rise of loot boxes and skin bettinghave seen young people introduced to the same mechanisms that underpingambling, through an industry that operates unchecked and unregulated on theback alleys of the internet, which young people can access from their bedrooms.”

Cramer encouraged action from competent authorities, arguing that for asolution to be found, a combination of measures would be needed. Regulators andeducatory bodies would need to come together, she continued.

She also said that the RSPH wasn’t on a quest to stamp out all gambling.Rather, Cramer just wanted what she believed many of the young respondents hadalready stated – to be able to recognize gambling when it introduced to themand guarantee the well-being of more impressionable groups of society.

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