Several European Gambling Regulators Organize to Discuss Gambling in Gaming
Sixteen gambling regulators have organized to discuss the blurring lines between gambling and gaming due to loot boxes and illegal betting sites.
Ever since the argument over loot boxes and microtransactions came to a head last year in several games, many official organizations have begun to analyze the practice to see if it can be considered gambling. Belgium is investigating EA, PEGI is adding a label to signify in-game purchases on physical games, and now fifteen European Gambling Regulators and one US regulator have partnered to investigate the “blurring of lines between gambling and gaming” according to Eurogamer.
This movement features signatories from Austria, Czechia, France, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the UK, and the US State of Washington. This collaboration was established during the 2018 Gambling Regulators European Forum, and will start by “tackling unlicensed third-party websites offering illegal gambling linked to popular video gamers”.
While that is technically unrelated to microtransactions, the organizations made it clear that they will set their sights to making sure that “features within games, such as loot boxes, do not constitute gambling under national laws” afterward. UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur also mentioned why action needs to be taken on these subjects:
“Unlicensed websites offering skins betting can pop up at any time and children could be gambling with money intended for computer game products. We encourage video games companies to work with their gambling regulators and take action now to address those concerns to make sure that consumers, and particularly children, are protected.”
DualShockers will be sure to let you know if any significant actions or legislation come from this large collaboration. You can also check out the full list of signatories below:
- Austria: Alfred Hacker, Director, Federal Ministry of Finance
- Czech Republic: Karel Blaha, Director of the State Oversight Over Gambling Department
- France: Charles Coppolani, Chair of the French Online Gaming Regulatory Authority
- Gibraltar: Andrew Lyman, Executive Director, Gambling Division, HM Government of Gibraltar
- Ireland: Brendan Mac Namara, Principal Officer, Gambling Policy Division, Department of Justice and Equality of Ireland
- Isle of Man: Steve Brennan, Chief Executive, Gambling Supervision Commission
- Jersey: Jason Lane, Chief Executive, Jersey Gambling Commission
- Latvia: Signe Birne, Director of Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of Latvia
- Malta: Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Executive Officer, Malta Gaming Authority
- The Netherlands: Jan Suyver, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Netherlands Gambling Authority
- Norway: Henrik Nordal, Director Deputy General, Norwegian Gaming Authority
- Poland: Paweł Gruza, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance
- Portugal: Teresa Monteiro, Vice-President of Turismo de Portugal, I.P
- Spain: Juan Espinosa García, CEO, Directorate General for Gambling Regulation
- Washington State: David Trujillo, Director, Washington State Gambling Commission
- UK: Neil McArthur, Chief Executive Officer, UK Gambling Commission