France’s gambling authority condemns but does not ban lockboxes

    
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This is someone else's problem.

The international community is becoming aware of the problems of lootboxes, and that means that laws are being formed in response to the business model. But there is another approach to dealing with them: you can kick the can down the road by condemning them and doing nothing else, which is the route the French gambling authority Autorité de regulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) took. Upon review, the organization condemned lootboxes and noted that they were bad, but stopped well short of actually putting any laws in place to prevent lootboxes.

This is significant, as classifying lootboxes as gambling would change the laws under which they are controlled… but the authority stops shy of doing that, even as it mentioned that lootboxes are definitely like gambling and certainly promote gambling behaviors. But they’re not considered technically gambling and thus remain in a legally nebulous zone, with the official recommendation to vote on more conclusive statements later. So the resolution is to resolve things later. Proactive!

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Crowe

Weak, France, weak. Why bother saying anything if you don’t have anything to say?

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Kickstarter Donor
Pingly

Lockboxes are financial Darwinism.

I agree with France: Let the dummies play that game.

It’s unfortunate it targets the less-sensible of us. :/

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Kickstarter Donor
Rees Racer

And only if France actually delivers in the World Cup will this sort of reputation be mitigated…if only for a few weeks.

Condemn the lockboxes, and think of that as the Maginot Line!
Oh…wait. That didn’t really work out in WWII, did it?

Maginot Line failure.jpg
Loyheta
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Loyheta

Yeah condemning will not affect anything and is just a cop out

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Bryan Correll

Now take your lockboxes away or we will taunt you a second time!

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Siphaed

Bureaucrats: They won’t take any action unless they see it increase their constituency and/or their coffers.

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Sally Bowls

At some point, IMO, lockboxes will be de facto or de jure prohibited.

However,

remain in a legally nebulous zone,

Where did the nebulous come from? The future may/will change, but is there any place/argument that lockboxes are currently illegal?

I can see arguments for nebulous desirability or nebulous ethics. And politicians and bureaucrats getting publicity with press releases and speeches may be foreshadowing but have not the slightest impact on current legality,

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Schmidt.Capela

Well, they are in a legally nebulous zone at the very least because the ARJEL is waiting for an upcoming publication by the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) setting some kind of baseline approach before further pursuing the issue; in the long term they plainly say the current legislation isn’t appropriate for dealing with lootboxes, which raises the chance of the rules on lootboxes being changed sooner rather than later (in political time), though how vigorously they will push for the passing of new legislation, as well as how much power they hold to push for that, is anyone’s guess.

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Sally Bowls

They may, probably will, cease being sold. But no amount of future hopes or possibilities has the slightest impact on them being able to currently, as we speak, be sold.

Veldan
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Veldan

I wonder if they even realize that today already is “later”. Lockboxes started a long time ago, but it seems like autorities only recently became aware.

Jilano
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Jilano

Of course, it took some time for their grandchildren to tell them that it even exists. Hopefully something will happen on a more “global” scale (e.g. EU at least) to prevent lootboxes from defining the future of micro-transactions.

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Hikari Kenzaki

All part of my WHO approved Gaming Disorder.

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Schmidt.Capela

IMHO it does make it easier to push for the regulation of lootboxes. After all, there is now both Gambling Disorder and Gaming Disorder, both with nearly the same description and symptoms, just with a different activity triggering it; lootboxes happen to be the one thing that can reasonably fit in both.

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Zora

Well generally speaking states legalize gambling and earn taxes upon them, heavily in most cases. Having lootboxes being recognized as gambling will do achieve nothing but have states demand a share of the profits, with involvement of minors being easily swept under the rug as with all things online.

Golly, states (and families) still fail in keeping youth away from drugs, smoke and alcohol… someone might be out there thinking about the children but with this dreadful summer weather I’m not not going to hold my breath upon this one :P

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BDJ

Why in the world is minors even brought up when it comes to lockboxes?

Most minors don’t have an income stream other than “allowance”. There is nothing to sweep under the rug. A kid gets $20 allowance and spends it on a) lockboxes b) candy c) toys.

People make it sound like kids are being manipulated and that minors drive the whole industry. Its like they are being kept in a chinese factory / sweat shop sewing shoes.

Stop it already.

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Sally Bowls

IMO, minors spending $20 is no longer mainstream in 2018.

https://nypost.com/2018/05/10/fortnite-and-other-free-games-are-designed-to-bleed-your-wallet-dry/

many of the articles tend to reference children spending $500 with a “but some of my friends spend more” A number of the youtubers I listen to shake their head over the amount their kids spend on FN,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5682577/Children-make-parents-spend-HUNDREDS-Fortnite-Season-4-Battle-Pass-launches.html

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BDJ

This is more of a parenting issue then?

How does a kid get $500 to spend on lockboxes?

Reader
Sally Bowls

Oh Lord yes it is a parenting issue. I was just pointing out that these days it is not uncommon. at all. Another Should vs Is. I bet the average spent on illegal substances or lockboxes is above your $20 example.

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John Kiser

Most of the stuff is silly. Realistically unless you lack impulse control and self control you aren’t tossing a ton of money at anything like that unless you have huge swaths of disposable income and can afford it. Minors spending 20 dollars is still mainstream. Just because of a few extreme instances which are realistically again few and far between doesn’t make it the mainstream. Most kids would get in a shot ton of trouble for hundreds a month on a game.

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Schmidt.Capela

People make it sound like kids are being manipulated

Yes, they are. Kids are very easy to manipulate, which is why advertisement directed towards kids often operates under different rules, and in some countries is outright banned — as in, you can advertise a kid-oriented product to the parents, but never to the kids that will use it.

Gambling, and otherwise having luck decide what you get for your payment, compounds that, as people need a certain life experience to be able to understand how deceptive that kind of offer is, something most kids (and even many adults) lack.

It’s part of the reason I believe any game with lootboxes or similar monetization schemes should be rated “Adults Only” or something similar, and that all lootbox schemes should be held to the same transparency standards that regulate conventional gambling, at a minimum.