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UK Government Responds to Online Lockbox Petition

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An online lockbox petition that was filed in the middle of the month to the UK parliament has finally gotten its official response, and while it does bear a similarly non-committal tone to previous responses, this response does have a few more direct things to note.

While the response opens with another reference to a position paper published by the Gambling Commission in March of 2017, the response does also mention that the Video Standards Council Rating Board – the body that helps apply PEGI ratings to UK video game releases – will be working with the PEGI Council to see if games that simulate traditional gambling will require a sterner PEGI rating.

The Gambling Commission is also awaiting the results a survey regarding young people and gambling, which has questions specific to esports and video gaming. The governing body in question has stated intent to work with the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board to further investigate any connections between gambling and children.

Finally, the response refers back to a Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulation in 2008, which is expressly written to protect consumers from what it deems “misleading or aggressive marketing practices” such as “direct exhortation to buy products, such as games content, including in-game purchases such as loot boxes”.

Our Thoughts

The response can certainly be seen very much like a longer version of “wait and see”, but the continued efforts of the existing regulatory bodies and the 2008 Unfair Trading act could possibly pave an avenue for tighter controls on online loot box practices. Here’s hoping that’s the case, because the conversation should not stop on this matter.

Source: UK Parliament website via Eurogamer

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