Litigation surrounding loot boxes seems to be a never-ending story, but the House of Lords Select Committee on gambling seeks to finish things. According to GameIndustry.biz, the committee is calling or the immediate reclassification of loot boxes as gambling. Similar demands have been bought before the UK Digital Master, who denied the claims last year and called for more research. House of Lords’ cites the emergence of smartphones and similar devices as gateways to “addictive 24/7 gambling.” They are calling for changes to be made now in a report from the House’s Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry that lists 66 recommendations.
Among these recommendations is the urge for the regulation of loot boxes, as they believe the issue deserves more attention. They explain in their report saying, “We agree that it is vital that any legislative changes are based on evidence; the evidence we have heard has stressed the urgency of taking action, and has not drawn attention to any unintended consequences.” The report references academic research that concluded there to be some kind of connection between loot boxes and gambling. After answering the call for evidence, the committee drew their own conclusions saying “if a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling.” They finish their report imploring UK Officials to observe regulations under section 6(6) of the Gambling Act of 2005 in reference to loot boxes.
Meanwhile, other countries have already dismissed the notion of loot boxes as gambling, including New Zealand and France. A bill that was meant to regulate loot boxes in the United States was shot down following blowback from the gaming industry and claims of rampant inaccuracies within it. If House of Lords gets its way, the UK would, like Belgium and The Netherlands, classify loot boxes as gambling.