Andrew Wilkie has introduced a bill proposing the regulation of the mechanic in video games.
Australia.- Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has introduced a bill that would introduce mandatory classifications for video games with gambling-type features. The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Loot Boxes) Bill 2022 seeks to restrict video game loot boxes to over-18s only. The bill has been seconded by LNP member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace.
A longtime reform advocate, Wilkie, said: “A loot box is a video game feature where players pay to chance their luck at winning additional virtual assets to use during the game. This is gambling by any definition and is routinely being experienced by children and adolescents right around Australia. No wonder gambling companies are buying up online gaming companies.”
He said the bill will ensure that children and young people “are protected from gambling-like features within video, computer and online games.”
The bill would require the Classification Board to classify any game with loot boxes as R18+ or RC. It would also require clear labelling so parents and guardians know when games contain the features.
Wilkie has long been in favour of stricter measures against gambling. In 2021, he supported proposed amendments to the Tasmanian gambling bill and suggested implementing a maximum bet limit of AU$1. More recently, he proposed the creation of a national gaming regulator that would work with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).