The Government has responded to a further question raised in Parliament on loot boxes and gambling.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath has called on the Government to have a more proactive approach towards addressing concerns over games open to children which could encourage gambling habits. In an oral question, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asks the Government whether they are ‘aware that there are games aimed at children that, although not strictly classified as gambling, actually encourage them into gambling habits’.
In response to the oral question, Lord Ashton of Hyde, Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, stated that the Government are aware of the issue, and are awaiting further information from a GambleAware consultation.
The full oral question and answer can be found below:
House of Lords, Main Chamber
15 January 2019
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, is the Minister aware that there are games aimed at children that, although not strictly classified as gambling, actually encourage them into gambling habits? There are also games like mystery boxes that essentially are open to children and could be considered as gambling. Surely we need a much more proactive approach to doing something about this.
Lord Ashton of Hyde: My Lords, that is exactly why the Gambling Commission is consulting on requiring age verification before allowing free-to-play demo games to be downloaded. However, that will apply only to games hosted by gambling operators. We are aware of the problem of games and are waiting for GambleAware to do its consultation, and we will certainly take the issue that the noble Lord has raised into account.
More information about GamblingAware can be found here.