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European gambling regulators converge on the 'blurring' of gambling and gaming

September 17, 2018 1 min read

Fifteen gambling regulatory bodies in Europe, along with Washington State, are coming together to discuss the "risks created by the blurring of lines between gaming and gambling".

Various countries including Spain, the UK, Malta, France, Austria, Ireland and others are joining an ever-increasing band of national governments shining a spotlight of in-game trends such as loot boxes, as well as unlicensed third-party websites that sell rare skins and other in-game items.

"We have joined forces to call on video games companies to address the clear public concern around the risks gambling and some video games can pose to children," stated Neil McCarthy, Chief Executive of the UK's Gambling Commission. "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."

This group movement is part of a recent string of news stories concerning in-game purchases, which has seen countries such as Belgium force the removal of paid loot boxes in titles such as Blizzard's Overwatch and card packs from NBA 2K titles. While the new European movement is targeting third-party sellers first and foremost, they have stated that they will look into in-game purchases to ensure it does not constitute gambling under law.

The full list of signatories to the new motion is as follows:

European gambling regulators converge on the 'blurring' of gambling and gaming screenshot