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  1. #1

    (Loot Box's) Number of child gamblers quadruples in just two years....

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46286945

    The number of children classed as having a gambling problem has quadrupled to more than 50,000 in just two years, a report has claimed.

    The Gambling Commission study suggests that 450,000 children aged 11 to 16 bet regularly, more than those who have taken drugs, smoked or drunk alcohol.

    Bets with friends, slot machines, and scratchcards, were most popular.

    A campaigner on the issue, Bishop of St Albans Right Reverend Alan Smith, called it a "generational scandal".

    "Today's findings by the Gambling Commission makes worrying reading and serves as a warning to parents," he said.

    The Young People and Gambling report found:

    Over the past 12 months, 39% of 11-16 year olds have spent their own money on gambling and 14% in the previous week
    Young people who have gambled in the past week spent an average of £16
    6% had gambled online using a parent or guardian's account
    60% of young people think their parents would prefer them not to gamble at all, however only 19% said their parents set strict rules about gambling
    Some admitted using betting shops or online gambling sites despite them being illegal for under-18s

    The analysis also suggests one in seven boys followed betting brands on social media.

    Most pubs 'don't stop children gambling'
    Teenagers 'bombarded by gambling ads'
    Government backtracks on gaming machines
    The commission also raised concerns that close to a million young people had been exposed to gambling through "loot boxes" in video games or on smartphone apps.

    These can involve a player paying money for an item that is only revealed after purchasing.
    The report was based on an Ipsos Mori study of 2,865 11 to 16-year-olds carried out between February and July.

    It comes amid increasing worries about gambling, especially fixed-odds betting machines and the number of betting ads during the showing of sport on television.

    Lunch hour betting
    Last week, a Gambling Commission report said that only 10% of pubs intervene to stop children gambling on their premises.

    Liz Ritchie's son was a gambling addict who took his own life a year ago this week, aged 24.

    She told the BBC she blamed government deregulation of the betting industry for allowing the growth of, for example, fixed odds betting machines, dubbed the crack cocaine of the industry.

    "It was because of deregulation that these machines came on the High Street so that Jack and his friends were able to gamble in their lunch hour," she told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

    She blamed advertising for helping to normalise gambling among the young, and urged the government to ban it. At the moment, she said, it was being left to parents and teachers to teach about the dangers of betting.

    'Out of sight'
    Gambling Commission executive director Tim Miller called for a "joined-up approach" to keep children safe.

    "There's no doubt that today's figures on children and gambling should make people sit up and listen," he said.

    "But while discussions about children gambling might conjure up images of kids sneaking into bookies or sitting alone on their iPad gambling on an online casino, our latest research paints a more complex picture.

    "The most common activities that children gamble on are not licensed casinos, bingo providers or bookies.

    "Instead we found children preferred to gamble in informal environments, out of sight of regulation - private bets between friends or playing cards with their mates for money."


    Don't believe loot box's are gambling, Well that doesn't matter because its reaching a point where more and more governments do because they are. More and more reports like this coming out will cause the government to step in.

    Don't want the government in the video game industry then people need to start boycotting these and AAA publishers need to remove them.

    Fix your problems or the government will force you to fix them.
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  2. #2
    Yeah I've always thought lootboxes were basically just a way for kids to be able to gamble, and honestly glad, for once, that governments are doing something about it.

    If companies like Activision-Blizzard, ect, aren't going to stop this garbage out of any kind of moral or ethical care, then the government is going to force you to stop it.

    No sympathy for the gaming companies being forced to change their shifty ass policies that are horribly anti-consumer.

  3. #3
    They're not going anywhere, even if the Gov't bans them. They banned them in China, all blizzard did was sell a small amount of dust in HS with BONUS PACK. So like in OW, you'll buy maybe 10-100 gold and get loot boxes.

    It circumvents the ban because you're buying the gold, the loot boxes are "free"

  4. #4
    The Unstoppable Force Puupi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrivateEyes View Post
    I guess trading card games are gambling too.
    Yes, they are.

    Their popularity is quite different compared to lootboxes in video games - hence to problem isn't as large.
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    i've said i'd like to have one of those bad dragon dildos shaped like a horse, because the shape is nicer than human.
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    i was talking about horse cock again, told him to look at your sig.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Puupi View Post
    Yes, they are.

    Their popularity is quite different compared to lootboxes in video games - hence to problem isn't as large.
    I would say it's a bit different. If you purchase a physical booster pack, you are guaranteed x rares, y uncommons and z common cards. If you buy a loot box in overwatch, you could get 4 sprays, or 4 legendary skins. Those two lootboxes do not have the same 'value', while each physical card pack will (at least before player enforced monetary value of cards is introduced)
    RETH

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Onikaroshi View Post
    They're not going anywhere, even if the Gov't bans them. They banned them in China, all blizzard did was sell a small amount of dust in HS with BONUS PACK. So like in OW, you'll buy maybe 10-100 gold and get loot boxes.

    It circumvents the ban because you're buying the gold, the loot boxes are "free"
    I don't know what the current situation is in China, but western laws are going to be a lot more stringent than simply being able to circumvent them with a loophole like that. Gaming companies have already had to outright remove their lootbox transactions in countries that have banned them, and EA are having to fight the Belgian government in court in an attempt to keep lootboxes in their games. Governments can and absolutely will clamp down on this stuff if they want to.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    I don't know what the current situation is in China, but western laws are going to be a lot more stringent than simply being able to circumvent them with a loophole like that. Gaming companies have already had to outright remove their lootbox transactions in countries that have banned them, and EA are having to fight the Belgian government in court in an attempt to keep lootboxes in their games. Governments can and absolutely will clamp down on this stuff if they want to.
    EA probably doesn't want to give currency so they're fighting it, I find it hard to believe that the law is written that "random boxes are not allowed in game at all" as, even unpaid, random boxes have been in games for years.

  8. #8
    I don't really get why people have suddenly started taking this big moral stand about fucking Overwatch loot boxes and bringing up "The children, the children..." as if skins in boxes are actually ruining their lives. Just because some people in the gaming community are whiny bastards over not getting the skin they wanted and wanted to blow it out of proportion, I guess.

    Meanwhile there's still actual gambling out there that's completely accessible to minors - and in the gaming community - but no one really bothers with that in the gaming community because they don't actually give a fuck about "gambling", they're just being bitchy about loot boxes in their games.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Onikaroshi View Post
    EA probably doesn't want to give currency so they're fighting it, I find it hard to believe that the law is written that "random boxes are not allowed in game at all" as, even unpaid, random boxes have been in games for years.
    Random rewards will still be just fine, it's the ability for customers to exchange money for random rewards that these laws are going to target. Gaming publishers will no doubt try to weasel their way around it in various ways, or come up with alternative monetisation methods to fill the gap, but if lawmakers genuinely want to stop lootbox-esque economies from existing then they'll do it. I believe the Belgian government have even said that if by some miracle EA manage to squeeze themselves through a loophole in court they can simply update the legislation to shut their lootbox systems down again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity Divinity View Post
    I don't really get why people have suddenly started taking this big moral stand about fucking Overwatch loot boxes and bringing up "The children, the children..." as if skins in boxes are actually ruining their lives. Just because some people in the gaming community are whiny bastards over not getting the skin they wanted and wanted to blow it out of proportion, I guess.

    Meanwhile there's still actual gambling out there that's completely accessible to minors - and in the gaming community - but no one really bothers with that in the gaming community because they don't actually give a fuck about "gambling", they're just being bitchy about loot boxes in their games.
    I'd recommend looking at reports like the one linked in the OP. More and more evidence is drawing a link between lootbox economies and problem gambling behaviour, which makes sense since lootboxes are purposefully designed to exploit the same kind of psychology that gambling does. It's not a one to one analogue, but it's certainly well within the ballpark of "we should probably not just let this keep happening with zero oversight".
    Last edited by Wondercrab; 2018-11-21 at 07:00 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity Divinity View Post
    I don't really get why people have suddenly started taking this big moral stand about fucking Overwatch loot boxes and bringing up "The children, the children..." as if skins in boxes are actually ruining their lives. Just because some people in the gaming community are whiny bastards over not getting the skin they wanted and wanted to blow it out of proportion, I guess.

    Meanwhile there's still actual gambling out there that's completely accessible to minors - and in the gaming community - but no one really bothers with that in the gaming community because they don't actually give a fuck about "gambling", they're just being bitchy about loot boxes in their games.
    If you actually think that then its clear you ether didn't read the OP or understand it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    Random rewards will still be just fine, it's the ability for customers to exchange money for random rewards that these laws are going to target. Gaming publishers will no doubt try to weasel their way around it in various ways, or come up with alternative monetisation methods to fill the gap, but if lawmakers genuinely want to stop lootbox-esque economies from existing then they'll do it. I believe the Belgian government have even said that if by some miracle EA manage to squeeze themselves through a loophole in court they can simply update the legislation to shut their lootbox systems down again.
    Yep, this is a up hill battle that "AAA" Publishers don't get to win. The laws will adjust to deal with them and it doesn't matter if company's like EA like it or not.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jtbrig7390 View Post
    If you actually think that then its clear you ether didn't read the OP or understand it.
    Yeah, no.

    The fact is that actual underage gambling in the gaming community has been an issue for years now. But no one gave a fuck. Honestly, it seems like it has barely been touched.

    Meanwhile, whiny bastards raise a stink over "loot boxes" and suddenly it's an issue? And they want to try to make loot boxes seem worse by tying them to the issue of actual underage gambling while not actually giving a fuck about that?

    Eh. It's a stupid topic driven by stupidity. Get back to me when someone starts cracking down on underage betting on events using virtual items/currency as a proxy for real money, for example. Until then, this is just bullshit.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    Random rewards will still be just fine, it's the ability for customers to exchange money for random rewards that these laws are going to target. Gaming publishers will no doubt try to weasel their way around it in various ways, or come up with alternative monetisation methods to fill the gap, but if lawmakers genuinely want to stop lootbox-esque economies from existing then they'll do it. I believe the Belgian government have even said that if by some miracle EA manage to squeeze themselves through a loophole in court they can simply update the legislation to shut their lootbox systems down again.
    So basically wasting Gov't money on something inconsequential. I don't really see an issue with them under 2 circumstances: You can earn them for free in game, and they are purely cosmetic. This is becoming the sugar battle, or the cigarette battle, gov't is getting too involved in how people choose to live their lives.

  13. #13
    Lootboxes are not gambling, they are worse.

    Psychologically and physiologically the concepts of lootboxes and gambling are identical, but financially there is a drastic difference. This all comes from the confusion of associating a person taking a gamble with someone gambling. In one, the individual is putting down money for a game of chance with the desire always being to obtain more money than was put in. Lootboxes are a method of preventing the customer from purchasing a good directly, requiring that they purchase randomized tokens that may give the desired item. What is worse is you haven't even purchased a good, you have spent money for the ability to rent a random cosmetic. When one goes to Vegas they have a slim chance of coming out with more money. When anyone pays a potentially endless stream of money to obtain a randomized good which you never own, can never sell, can only rent, that individual always loses.

    However, I don't think this is a child issue. If you construct your business model to exploit children you quickly run into regulations or new legislation catches up and the business doesn't fare well for long. What these systems do is what all systems of marketing do, and that is make life long consumers of a product. Think of everyone's Blizzard brand loyalty all because they enjoyed WC3 and Diablo II. Lootbox systems target adults with disposable income, just like Vegas does. Except now Vegas is your phone, and the slot machines are even fucking prettier, and better yet you will never win. There of course are the fairy tales of children sneaking around and stealing the credit cards, hundreds of thousands of them, and they all have the numbers memorized. This is quite preposterous. Especially since it is also widely accepted that lootbox mechanics target whales. Whales are the target, and only the rarest of occasions are whales children. Lootboxes are targeting adults who think they know better and believe that marketing doesn't work on them. You, yes you Mr. I have a full Hearthstone collection. You, the one who plays games on the bus. You, who is terrified to look at your battle.net account purchase history or Path of Exile purchase history. All of you got got. You quit Blizzard games, you quit any game, and you can't sell any of that wasted money. Entertainment was gained, but you basically just went outside and lit $1,000 on fire, or much much more.

    If you think not me then take a little perusal through your accounts from Blizzard and other companies. Maybe you're the rare one. But if you play these games chances are you've been had. Some will try to convince themselves with a metric about how much enjoyment was achieved per dollar, but I'm here to say $900 a year on a mobile game is unacceptably fucking insane.
    Last edited by Coombs; 2018-11-21 at 07:30 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity Divinity View Post
    Yeah, no.

    The fact is that actual underage gambling in the gaming community has been an issue for years now. But no one gave a fuck. Honestly, it seems like it has barely been touched.

    Meanwhile, whiny bastards raise a stink over "loot boxes" and suddenly it's an issue? And they want to try to make loot boxes seem worse by tying them to the issue of actual underage gambling while not actually giving a fuck about that?

    Eh. It's a stupid topic driven by stupidity. Get back to me when someone starts cracking down on underage betting on events using virtual items/currency as a proxy for real money, for example. Until then, this is just bullshit.
    That sounds like an issue of visibility to me moreso than anything else. There are a lot of bad things happening in the world that people don't kick up a fuss about simply because they're unaware of them. Lootboxes have struck a chord within the gaming community because these days they're right there in front of many people who wouldn't otherwise have known anything about problem gambling. Other things being worse isn't an excuse for loot boxes getting a free pass. I don't think there's anything stupid about investigating a problem and trying to fix it once warning bells start to ring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Onikaroshi View Post
    So basically wasting Gov't money on something inconsequential. I don't really see an issue with them under 2 circumstances: You can earn them for free in game, and they are purely cosmetic. This is becoming the sugar battle, or the cigarette battle, gov't is getting too involved in how people choose to live their lives.
    You might think it's inconsequential, but the evidence is increasingly pointing toward the opposite. Gambling is heavily regulated in most places for very good, well-documented reasons, and if lootboxes fall within that same ballpark then it's obvious that some kind of oversight might be prudent. Laws are important under circumstances in which vulnerable people are able to be easily exploited by others, and the psychology of gambling is rife with opportunities for that kind of abuse unless lawmakers step in to hold the leash.

  15. #15
    Epic! Makabreska's Avatar
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    Well, lootboxes and other microtransactions make such an insane amount of money, companies will fight tooth and nail to preserve them.
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing...

  16. #16
    Man the comments on jims video are a fucking treat. We all know for a fact lockboxes -yes even daddy blizz with overwatch- create an opening experience designed to pull in rubes. Exciting music, flashy animations (throwing in a single frame showing a legendary to incite a dopamine release and a habit forming dependance) but you still get the addicts afraid of losing their fix going "n-no but trading cards tho mumblemumble" like opening a pack of fucking pokemon cards back in the day was associated with market tested habit forming fanfare. The desperation is real.
    Last edited by dope_danny; 2018-11-21 at 07:35 PM.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    That sounds like an issue of visibility to me moreso than anything else. There are a lot of bad things happening in the world that people don't kick up a fuss about simply because they're unaware of them. Lootboxes have struck a chord within the gaming community because these days they're right there in front of many people who wouldn't otherwise have known anything about problem gambling. Other things being worse isn't an excuse for loot boxes getting a free pass. I don't think there's anything stupid about investigating a problem and trying to fix it once warning bells start to ring.



    You might think it's inconsequential, but the evidence is increasingly pointing toward the opposite. Gambling is heavily regulated in most places for very good, well-documented reasons, and if lootboxes fall within that same ballpark then it's obvious that some kind of oversight might be prudent. Laws are important under circumstances in which vulnerable people are able to be easily exploited by others, and the psychology of gambling is rife with opportunities for that kind of abuse unless lawmakers step in to hold the leash.
    If someone has the personality or mental incapacity to get addicted to gambling, banning lootboxes really isn't going to help them, because they'll just find it somewhere else. Like the other guy said, it really hasn't "quadrupled" over the last 2 years, its just that people are noticing it now. If gov't really wants to go after something, they should go after freemium mobile games that nickel and dime you to death, cosmetic loot boxes are nothing compared to that shit.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    That sounds like an issue of visibility to me moreso than anything else. There are a lot of bad things happening in the world that people don't kick up a fuss about simply because they're unaware of them. Lootboxes have struck a chord within the gaming community because these days they're right there in front of many people who wouldn't otherwise have known anything about problem gambling. Other things being worse isn't an excuse for loot boxes getting a free pass. I don't think there's anything stupid about investigating a problem and trying to fix it once warning bells start to ring.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not pulling a "But there are children starving in Africa, your problem is dumb." thing here.

    It's just that you have parents and communities saying, "Our children are struggling with gambling addictions and there seems to be no regulations for a lot of this stuff! My son has started stealing because he's addicted to betting on football!" and then the gamers come along and say, "Why yes, we also struggle with this. We feel your pain. Look at how this game puts a picture of a gun into this box. It's just awful! Won't someone think of the children!" and tries to hitch their wagon to the actual problem so their youtube videos complaining about it have more moral authority.

    It feels a lot like someone putting #MeToo in their tweet where they complain that someone cut them off in traffic yesterday. Especially since actual underage real money gambling has been all over the gaming community for a long time now and no one really paid it any mind. Why? Because people liked it, the companies were making a mint, and everyone was happy - if broke. But people don't like loot boxes, so suddenly it's time to start thinking about the children. Meh.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Makabreska View Post
    Well, lootboxes and other microtransactions make such an insane amount of money, companies will fight tooth and nail to preserve them.
    Well, it really comes to a point of, do you want updates to your game past the first year? Yes? Then there's either some form of Microtransaction, or you're buying "season passes", games are expensive to develop.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Onikaroshi View Post
    If someone has the personality or mental incapacity to get addicted to gambling, banning lootboxes really isn't going to help them, because they'll just find it somewhere else. Like the other guy said, it really hasn't "quadrupled" over the last 2 years, its just that people are noticing it now. If gov't really wants to go after something, they should go after freemium mobile games that nickel and dime you to death, cosmetic loot boxes are nothing compared to that shit.
    Lets say 1/8 people is susceptible to gambling addiction. What are the chances those 1/8 has gone to a Casino and been introduced to that feeling? Just like many people would get addicted to heroine but they aren't exposed. Now how many people have phones? The problem now is the reach not that the people who would become addicted do so anyway. We've basically handed out fun sized heroine sampler packs to every child with a phone.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Onikaroshi View Post
    Well, it really comes to a point of, do you want updates to your game past the first year? Yes? Then there's either some form of Microtransaction, or you're buying "season passes", games are expensive to develop.
    Bullshit.

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