Daniel Zeichner, the Labour MP for Cambridge constituency recently submitted two questions to Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. These questions are regarding the nature of loot boxes, which have become quite a big topic following the release of major titles like Shadow of War, Forza Motorsport 7 and the open beta for Star Wars Battlefront II.
The questions are as follows:
Question 1: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of the Isle of Man’s enhanced protections against illegal and in-game gambling and loot boxes; and what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on adopting such protections in the UK.
Question 2: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she plans to take to help protect vulnerable adults and children from illegal gambling, in-game gambling and loot boxes within computer games.
If you remember, ESRB had officially released a response recently stating that they don’t consider loot boxes as gambling, as players are sure to get something in return, even if it’s something they don’t want. Considering that each country may have a different viewpoint regarding the issue according the corresponding gambling laws, these questions could be the first step in drawing the interest of national committees. Note that the both the questions were submitted about 10 days ago, so it’s possible we’ll have to wait for some time before seeing an official statement.
There’s a Reddit post regarding this, where user Artfunkel provides some context and insight into the matter. Though we can’t what the British government’s response will be, or whether they will take any action in this matter, a petition has been submitted to the Parliament separately, and is definite to get a response, as it has more than 10K signatures. If it reaches 100K signatures, it will be considered for debate in the Parliament.