Sweden scrutinizes loot boxes under gambling laws

Loot boxes might not be as welcome in Sweden come next year. A Public Administration minister told a news station that in-game lockboxes could be classified as gambling by 2019 as the government moves to “regain control” of the gambling sector.

“I don’t want to rule out the possibility [of classifying loot boxes as gambling],” said Minister Ardalan Shekarabi. “It is obvious that there are many people suffering from gambling addiction, who also get stuck in this type of gambling and lose money because of it.”

Currently, loot boxes — as in many countries — are not covered by gambling laws and do not have governmental oversight. With the increase in exposure over the business model practices recently, some politicians in various countries have proposed legislation and regulation.

Source: PC Gamer. Thanks Fabio!
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13 Comments on "Sweden scrutinizes loot boxes under gambling laws"

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rafael12104

Lol! Another little domino. But… they are getting bigger these dominos, so look out EA and Activision!

View post on imgur.com

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Sally Bowls

so look out EA and Activision!

That is a reasonable theory.
Another is that the big companies like EA, ATVI, Ten Cent have the scale so that they can handle new government taxes and regulations. They raise the price the customers pay, but they have enough customers so that the price increase per person is not that high. And one-person, “sweat-equity” mobile games can still get made. But the mid-tier gaming companies will have an increasingly hard time to compete. IMO, I find at least as credible the theory that all of the government involvement will accelerate the decline of the mid-tier gaming developers. EA&ATVI will pass the additional costs on to the customers but since they have fewer competitors, they could be more profitable. It is a tad ironic for gamers to be arguing for government intervention in order to make it more difficult to compete with EA.

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Alex Malone

Whilst government intervention on this issue could affect mid-tier developers, gambling / lootboxes seem much more prevalent in both mobile games and mediocre games released by big publishers. The mid-tier, whilst already small, seems less infected by gambling and so can hopefully survive any legislation.

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johnwillo

Oh, sure, the Swedes are against loot boxes NOW. All through the Dark Ages, they were sailing dragon-prowed longships all over the place grabbing all the loot boxes they could find.

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Brother Maynard

Of course they did, the drop chance was basically 100%.

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Zora

There are many things that I “may not rule out” when I am asked by someone whether I will or will not do something they care about and yet I have no intention of doing… and I am not even a politician.

That aside, I will confess I have not a clue as to what, in the fair country of swedes, being classified as gambling entices. There is a difference between “outright banned” and simply “pass a share of the profit to the state, comrade capitalist”.

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Arktouros

That’s how I read most articles regarding American politicians going on about lockboxes. I just see them jumping on an issue to see if they can get a payout…I mean a good faith donation from an industry expert to explain the sorts of issues good American Game development businesses are facing in today’s economy over a modest lunch ;)

Europe on the other hand, just don’t know enough about to figure out their angle.

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traja

Traditionally with vice the motivation is taxation or a state owned monopoly. I’m not sure if that applies here since game companies are likely to change their business model. Adult rating is too hard a hit. So maybe this is just about votes, or legitimately caring… nahh.

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Arktouros

Politicians primary job is basically raising money. A new issue like this creates lobbyists on both sides from the companies who want their interests looked after and the citizens who want their interests looked after. In either case it’s just another payday to a politician to get more money to re-elected again.

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Arktouros

Zzzzz.

Tell me when some bills are actually signed in place and actually effective (cause the laws over in most Asian countries aren’t effective at all).

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Alex Malone

Good news.

Heres hoping that law makers stick with the issue long term and actually get something done, rather than just making noise because the gaming community is making noise.

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Darthbawl

This sounds like a good thing and hopefully the start of more good things.