Lord Alton has called on the Government to take into account gambling of in-game purchases when looking at the effect of gambling on young people.
Quoting research conducted by ParentZone, which claims 10% of children across the UK aged 13-18 revealed they had gambled skins in some form, Lord Alton has urged the Government to ‘be ahead of the game in these kinds of circumstances.’
In response to the oral question, Lord Aston, Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, stated that the Government is aware of unlicensed gambling of in-game items and is ‘seeking to work with the video games industry to raise awareness of that and explore solutions.’
The full oral question and answer can be found below:
Gambling: Advertising Ban
House of Lords, Main Chamber
16 January 2019
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): My Lords, when the Minister looks at the effect of gambling on young people, will he take into account the survey conducted by ParentZone yesterday about a new phenomenon called skin gambling? It said:
“Our survey confirmed it is wide-spread, with 10% of children across the UK aged 13-18 revealing they have gambled skins in some form. This percentage amounts to approximately 448,744 children”.
This is surely one of the new phenomena now appearing in social media and elsewhere targeted at young people, and the Government need always to be ahead of the game in these kinds of circumstances.
Lord Ashton of Hyde: The Government are aware of that, and when in-game items such as skins can be used to place a bet or gamble, and be converted into cash, it is considered gambling and requires a licence. The Gambling Commission has taken action and prosecuted unlicensed gambling of in-game items known as skins. We are seeking to work with the video games industry to raise awareness of that and explore solutions, but I take the noble Lord’s point. We are aware of gambling in games and it is a new issue of which we are taking account.