UKGC Joins Regulators in Voicing Collective Concerns over Skin Gambling and Loot Boxes

Florin P. - September 18, 2018

Global gambling regulators highlight the risks posed by the transition between gaming and online gambling.

Video game developers have realized that the freemium model works best and many of the new releases are free to play. Instead of paying a monthly subscription or an acquisition price, players can enjoy the game for free and optionally, spend money on micro-transactions. While the system has been so far mutually beneficial, global gambling regulators have identified an insidious threat affecting the most vulnerable players. The blurring lines between gambling and gaming have caused concerns and have led to a common declaration from leading gambling regulators.

Keeping Underage Players Safe

The vast majority of those who play video games are young people and many of them are minors. This makes them particularly vulnerable to the threats of gambling, as highlighted by the recent controversies surrounding loot boxes and skin betting. Recently, more and more international regulators have raised concerns about these models, urging the responsible parties to engage in an informed dialogue. The UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) joined these regulators today, the body declared on its website.

By thoroughly analyzing the unique characteristics of social gaming and video games, regulators hope to find effective ways of keeping players safe - ways which will be adopted by operators. Each regulator is expected to act based on the rules of its national gambling regulatory framework and together with consumer protection authorities.

Addressing the Risks of Skin Betting and Loot Boxes

The UKGC also plans on engaging parents to raise awareness regarding the perils posed by the recent transition between gaming and gambling. This common Declaration is expected to represent a first and very important step towards addressing the concerns of its signatories. Some European countries have already taken measures to mitigate the risks posed by skin betting and loot boxes, but this common effort is expected to yield more meaningful results.

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