The Ministry of State was asked for its stance on loot boxes and if they were considered gambling or not.
Ireland.- Loot boxes have gained popularity in Europe in recent months, and the attention has also raised concerns around regulators and governments in the continent. This time, Ireland has once again looked into the legality of loot boxes in the principal chamber of the Irish legislature.
Late last week Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon asked Minister of State at the Department of Justice David Stanton at the Dáil, Irish legislature, where his department stood on loot boxes. “Are they considered a form of gambling or an e-commerce activity?” he asked.
Stanton said: “In the context of video games, if a game sought to offer an activity or items for purchase that fall under the current Irish legal definition of gambling, the manufacturer of the game would require a relevant licence. To the best of our knowledge, no manufacturer has sought such licensing by gambling regulators in Ireland or other EU member states to date.”
Haydon said that countries like Belgium, Isle of Man and the Netherlands have already discussed loot boxes and consider them a form of gambling, therefore the Department of Justice should compromise and take the lead to legislate it.
The minister said that they are still working on a gambling legislation, and that provisions for video games, which include loot boxes, may be included in future laws. “The Deputy is correct that the matter is changing by the week,” Stanton said.