by Ciaran Jackman in
eSports Betting News

Australian MP Andrew Wilkie has introduced a bill aimed at curbing the impact of loot boxes and suggested they “groomed” kids into gambling later in life.

The bill would be centred around video games that feature ‘loot boxes‘ that players gamble to win virtual assets, with or without the use of real money.

If this bill is to be passed by parliament, it would regulate game classifications and require all games that feature loot boxes be clearly labelled and carry R18+ classification.

“The R18+ classification would align with the fact that you must be 18 to legally gamble,” Wilkie said, in his address to parliament on Monday.

“One mother then told me about her then 17-year-old son spending three and a half thousand dollars in just eight weeks on loot boxes.

“Now almost 24, her son still spends money on the in-game platform, Steam — at times haemorrhaging hundreds of dollars a day.

“The family, she says, has been through hell.”

Wilkie then went onto quote the lady further by adding that she believes “the brain of a gamer is similar to that of a heroin addict, it’s no different, it’s a dopamine hit”.

Once Wilkie started to address the speaker and the rest of parliament, he added that he does not want to see our children groomed into gambling by these loot boxes.

“Speaker, clearly we cannot continue to let our children to be groomed to future gambling in this way,” he said.

“No wonder governments around the world are beginning to wise up and take action, with loot boxes already banned in several countries around the world as pressure rises for regulation in many others.”

The other countries that Wilkie refers to include Belgium and the Netherlands, which now have blanket bans on any video game that contains loot boxes.

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