Australia: calls for controls on loot boxes

Australia: calls for controls on loot boxes

Anti-gambling campaigners have called for stricter measures on video games that offer loot boxes to children.

Australia.- Jum Sauer, a researcher from the University of Tasmania, has claimed while other countries have started to regulate loot boxes in video games, Australia remains behind.

Sauer admitted there was not enough evidence about the relationship between video games with loot boxes and possible gambling harm. However, he highlighted that people who are predisposed to developing gambling addictions usually spent more money on loot boxes.

Analysts have said that the Covid-19 pandemic led to an increase in gaming and gambling as a way of coping with stress and anxiety.

Andrew Wilkie, an independent federal member of parliament, has said the Australian government should increase measures regarding video games with loot boxes.

Australians do not use gambling harm-reduction tools

A study by the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic (GTRC) reported that gambling harm minimisation tools implemented by the government have had little impact.

The research focused on self-exclusion and deposit limit tools. It found that the first tool affected online gambling behaviour but that players don’t use the tool if it’s voluntary.

As for deposit limits, 6,000 people who used the tool stuck to the limits for about a year, while one in four decided to change their betting limits to make them less restrictive. One in eight gamblers unsubscribed from the programme. 

Despite this, Sally Gainsbury, one of the study’s authors, said the self-exclusion and betting limit tools had proved to be successful.

She said the number of people who set a deposit limit for gambling increased after the introduction of the self-exclusion system. She added that the results could encourage authorities to take other measures to promote safer gambling behaviour.

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