WestLotto is North-Rhine Westphalia’s state lottery and has called for discussion with scientists, politicians and industry stakeholders regarding loot boxes regulations.
Axel Weber who heads up WestLotto’s responsible gaming initiatives spoke out last week after Interactive Entertainment, the UK games industry trade association, suggested that loot box purchases be restricted to those over 18.
Ukie’s guidelines also include 10 additional loot-box rules. They included the implementation of technological controls for accessing loot box, and requiring parental consent in order to circumvent them.
Weber (pictured), WestLotto’s CEO, says the company wants similar guidelines to be adopted in Germany.
Weber explained that initially, the commitment was voluntary on the part of the service providers. However, the Government would be closely monitoring the situation. Weber said that the government would closely monitor any voluntary commitments made by providers.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (DCMS), welcomed Ukie’s recommendations, and praised the special focus placed on youth. DCMS created Ukie’s Technical Working Group on July 20, 2022.
Getting a perspective
Weber says research is the key to a successful roundtable discussion.
He continued, “WestLotto does not demand a total ban on loot-boxes either.” Our social responsibility is to safeguard children from the gambling elements of games, and prevent young people developing problem gaming behavior as early as teenage years.
WestLotto is demanding that more research be done on hidden gambling opportunities in video games. The UK’s recommendations also point this out.
The regulatory landscape is changing
Loot box regulations are changing across the world.
The European Parliament spoke in January to support the development of uniform regulation for loot box. An amendment to Australia’s media classification law was introduced late last year that would limit video game loot box purchases to those over 18.
In Germany there is still a need for guidance, although some improvements have been made. In January this year, German video game age-rating body Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle started to consider the presence of loot boxes in its rating process.
Weber wants to take advantage of the recent UK moves to get Germany involved in loot box gaming.
“… We should take advantage of this opportunity from Great Britain to promote the protection and clarity for minors in Germany, he added.