As much as the developers who make lockboxes would probably like for the random packs of items to start slipping back under the radar, that keeps not happening. A new report by NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch specifically calls out the random item packs as being a form of “under the radar” gambling which might not be immediately apparent as gambling, arguing that these sales are “teaching [children] to gamble on the content of these loot boxes.”
Murdoch’s ultimate takeaway is that lockbox sales should be discontinued and that games should have hard in-game spending limits, calling the lack of regulation from England’s Gambling Commission an oversight due to a loophole. The UKIE, representing the game industry in the United Kingdom, has already responded to Murdoch’s report by noting that games do allow for spending limits with the help of existing parental controls and arguing that new policies will require the disclosure of odds for items from lootboxes, with the implication being that the core substance of Murdoch’s disapproval has thus been addressed. Still, it seems that these little boxes of uncertain gambling identity keep staying in the radar.