UK government decides not to ban game loot boxes after consultation

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The UK government has decided to forego regulating loot boxes in games under current gambling regulations, instead stating that it would discuss industry-led measures on the matter.

After a 22-month investigation of loot boxes in the country, UK Culture Minister Nadine Dorries said that the country would not be moving to ban the in-app or in-game monetization feature, The Guardian reported Monday.

Loot boxes are a common feature in many games and apps. They allow customers to exchange real money for in-game rewards and special items, but are often compared to gambling because consumers don't know what items they will get in a box.

Other countries, like Belgium, have banned loot boxes. Similar efforts have been proposed in the US, but have failed to gain any ground.

Back in 2020, Apple was hit with a class action lawsuit claiming that it encouraged addictive behavior and gambling because it allowed loot boxes within games. The iPhone maker successfully fended off the lawsuit earlier in 2022.

Although there won't be a blanket ban on loot boxes in the UK, regulators in the country said they would pursue tougher "industry-led" rules.

"Our view is that it would be premature to take legislative action without first pursuing enhanced industry-led measures to deliver protections for children and young people and all players," the UK consultation reads.