Laws surrounding loot boxes will stay as is in Australia for the time being.
The Australian Environment and Communications Committee’s report into video game loot boxes was delivered to the Australian senate last week, noting that a consensus around the world had not been reached on whether the practice should be considered gambling.
The Committee essentially recommended that no action be taken and that loot boxes not come under harsher regulatory framework moving forward.
The senator who chaired the inquiry, Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John, said he disagrees with the committee’s finding.
“Many loot boxes utilise a number of psychological mechanisms commonly seen in other forms of gambling, including variable ratio reinforcement schedules, entrapment and ready and constant availability,” Senator Steele-John said.
“Furthermore, it was argued that the risk to children, young people and even vulnerable adults from developing gambling-related harms through interaction with loot boxes was of such significance that regulators should seek to either prohibit, or restrict access to games containing loot boxes.
“As chair, I sought to follow this evidence and recommended the Parliament take action to ensure that no young person who plays video games is exploited by gambling-like mechanisms. Labor and the Coalition combined to outvote me in this effort and replace the committee’s considered and appropriate recommendations with a single watered-down recommendation for a government review.”
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