GGL has loot boxes in its crosshairs again

GGL has loot boxes in its crosshairs again

GGL has loot boxes in its crosshairs again
The German gambling regulator, the GGL, has been all gung-ho when it comes to many aspects of the gambling industry, and although loot boxes have not been classified as a gambling product per se, they have faced mounting criticism, and not least from the gambling watchdog itself. In a new statement on its official website, the GGL has urged federal states across Germany to take a closer look at video games that contain and offer loot boxes and how they may actually be impacting consumer well-being, with many video game players actually being children or young people. One of the suggestions GGL outlines is to have states come up with legal frameworks that allow them to restrict the access of loot boxes to children. The Netherlands and Belgium have already pulled a similar move, demanding that companies that offer loot boxes in their games suspend them as part of their operations in the two respective jurisdictions. The GGL believes that the issue of loot boxes would not be solved by simply classifying these digital goods and wares as a form of gambling. Rather, a meaningful and targeted regulatory framework would be needed to protect young people. The GGL held a dedicated workshop on the matter led by Professor Martin Maties from the University of Augsburg who was joined by Dr Lennart Brüggemann who is Head of Research Center for Esports Law at the University of Augsburg. The same conclusion has been reached as part of the panel, seeing that simply classifying loot boxes as a form of gambling would not do entirely away with their negative impact on players. The GGL stated: “The GGL, therefore, appeals to the responsible authorities to intensively examine all aspects and options for action in order to counteract the potential addiction risks of loot boxes for target groups that are particularly worthy of protection.” To indeed have a meaningful and long-lasting impact, loot boxes would have to be subjected to effective regulation that protects children and young people, the two groups that are the most at risk of developing an unhealthy relationship with this form. The GGL is also looking for additional input so as to help guide policy and assist local and federal efforts to regulate loot boxes. Earlier this year, the State of Bremen proposed a ban on loot boxes. Image credit: Activision Blizzard

07 MAR 2024

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