The RSPH, which is the Royal Society for Public Health) has issued a report that reveals that gambling is becoming standard in the eyes of many young people. They stated that the reason behind that is because of the normalization of gambling in video games through features such as skin betting and loot boxes.
Skins in the Game – The GambleAware Research Findings
GambleAware funded research that covered young players in Great Britain between the ages of 11 and 25. The study showed that a majority of the young players who enjoy these games see that purchasing loot boxes (58%) and participating in skin betting (60%), is a form of gambling, a highly addictive one at that. In the GambleAware report, the Royal Society for Public Health called upon the new government of the United Kingdom to classify skin betting and loot boxes as a form of gambling. Skins in the Game also highlight the dangers and concerns regarding the normalization of football gambling.
What are Loot Boxes?
Loot boxes are a popular thing in many games; it is an in-game purchase. Every two in five players (around 40%) of the young players buy a loot box. Players buy a loot box, and they get a random in-game item(s) that are unknown at the point of the purchase. These items include cosmetic items such as skins that change the character's appearance or can be items that can give the players gameplay advantage. Currently, the global loot boxes market is worth £20bn, and the United Kingdom alone has a £700m share. The games that contain loot boxes are always at the top of the Christmas list for many young people and children.
The Royal Society is calling for a clear commitment from the video gaming industry. They want the industry to ensure a gamble-free mobile and video gaming experience for players under the age of 18. Also, they are calling for the development of the technology that would identify and flag disordered spending on gambling-like content. It is also calling for a broader definition of gambling to be a part of the health education curriculum. So that it can be introduced to people at a young age.