Subscribe to AIP newsletter
Sing up for exclusive casino bonus, offers, and the latest news directly in your inbox.
Are youths in Australia overly exposed to gambling-like products? The Australian Gaming and Screen Alliance (AGSA) believes this to be so. The organisation has recently spoken out against the dangers of loot crates in online gaming. They think that loot crates are forms of gambling and are causing physical and psychological harm to youths.
The Australian Gaming and Screen Alliance has recently been voicing opposition to the use of loot crates in online gaming. These devices are common in most video games and provide various power-ups to players. The Alliance contends that the devices constitute a form of gambling that is not being adequately addressed by the government.
Professor John Saunders, Chairman of the Alliance, spoke out on these devices. He argues that loot crates are a form of gateway to gambling. He spoke at length on various cases where families had experienced financial harm or even ruin due to excessive purchases of loot crates.
The AGSA has researched approximately 19 studies and has found links between loot boxes and problem gambling with youth. Due to the lack of attention and regulation given to the matter, the Alliance believes that youths will continue to be exposed to gambling-like devices, thus increasing the likelihood of problem gambling.
If you are not familiar with loot boxes, then you haven’t been playing video games in the last decade. Nearly all video games have some form of loot box mechanism. A loot box, also known as a loot crate, is an item that gives some form of reward to a player. These rewards can range from in-game currency to weapons and even more powerful players.
The boxes generally have odds displayed on the types of available prices. For example, a common loot crate may award coins 50% of the time, weapons 35% of the time, legendary weapons or armor 10% of the time, Epic players 4% of the time, and Legendary players 1% of the time. Premium loot crates will give better rewards, generally with more favourable odds.
The ways that these items are delivered can often simulate popular gambling games like pokies or roulette. When opening the crate, potential awards may appear on a roulette-style wheel and spin like someone was making a roulette bet.
Loot boxes are earned in multiple ways. Often, you can win them as part of quests or by completing tasks in a game. Sometimes you can buy them with in-game currency. However, many loot crates are purchased with real money. Sometimes, these purchases are direct, such as paying $10 for 10 loot boxes. Other times, you have to purchase in-game currency and use that currency to buy loot boxes.
There are generally many purchase levels for loot crates, ranging from as low as $1 up to $100 in most video games. Also, there are no limits to purchases in games. Games such as Roblox target children as young as eight, while other games focus on youth 13+.
The AGSA believes that society is largely ill-equipped to handle the issue of loot boxes in video games. Many parents are blindsided by the effects of video games on youth. Some youth become infatuated and even addicted to video games. This can lead to increased and even irrational spending on video games.
The Alliance believes that more needs to be done to address the issue and even regulate loot boxes. Australian lawmakers have spoken about looking into regulating loot boxes in the past, but no significant movement has come on the subject.