On August 7, 2019, NCPG participated in the Federal Trade Commission’s workshop about loot boxes & gambling.
The all-day event featured three panels. NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte joined panel 3: A Level Playing Field – What’s Fair Game? along with Common Sense Media, Consumer Reports, and Entertainment Software Rating Board, moderated by staff members from the FTC Division of Advertising Practices.
Learn what Whyte discussed below, as well as the full detail schedule.
National Council on Problem Gambling believes that many loot box systems already meet criteria for gambling.
A loot crate system may still have negative impacts, including gambling problems.
Some loot boxes that have the same or similar characteristics of slot machines may not meet legal definitions of gambling but carry the same risks for addiction
A legal definition of gambling is not required for a feature like a loot box to cause harm.
DSM and ICD clinical criteria for gambling disorder do not require that rewards be “real money” or preclude a diagnosis if the client played with virtual coins or received several free plays before spending excessive amounts of time and money purchasing loot boxes.
Factors common to many loot boxes and slot machines:
Consequences of gambling problems:
Strong regulation is important, but it cannot be effective at reducing harm unless accompanied by equally robust prevention, education, treatment, recovery, and research services.
NCPG recommends addressing concerns around loot boxes and addiction with a multi-layered approach to users, parents, and communities to ensure an appropriate range of protections is put into place for youth and other vulnerable populations.
August 7, 2019
10am – 4:30pm
Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, D.C
This panel will explore the role of loot boxes and similar mechanics in the video game ecosystem and the impact of these monetization models on end users.
This panel will address potential social, psychological, and economic motivations associated with loot box spending.
This panel will discuss current initiatives for disclosing in‐game microtransactions and explore ideas for other mechanisms that may enhance consumer protection.