Both Hawaiian State Officials and the Belgian Gambling Commission have now weighed in on the recent loot box gambling controversy brought into the limelight by EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Yesterday, news broke that the Belgian Gambling Commission have decided that loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront 2 constitute gambling and therefore should be banned. The authority determined that the practice of purchasing loot boxes present a danger to children and will take the matter to Europe.
According to reports, the Dutch authorities are also looking more into the situation with a similar decision to be expected.
Adding to this Hawaiian legislators are also unhappy with the decision to put loot boxes in games. Hawaiian democratic state representative Chris Lee, during a press conference, compared Star Wars Battlefront 2 to a “Star Wars-themed online casino,” saying that it was a “trap” for children.
As a result, Lee revealed that they’re looking at legislation to “prohibit access, or prohibit sale of these games to folks who are under age in order to protect families,” he said.
“We’ve been talking with several other states as well, with legislators there who are looking at the same thing. I think this is the appropriate time to make sure that these issues are addressed before this becomes the new norm for every game.”
Interestingly, fellow representative Sean Quinlan added another comparison, this time with Joe Camel, saying “we didn’t allow Joe Camel to encourage our kids to smoke cigarettes, and we shouldn’t allow Star Wars to encourage our kids to gamble.”
It’s definitely a positive that legislators are getting involved, however it’s up to game companies to find a decent middle-ground to loot boxes. If done correctly, they’re not necessarily bad, however they are definitely open to exploitation, and it’s this practice which needs to be stopped before it gets out-of-hand, or too overly controlled by governing bodies.