15 watchdogs sign Declaration to crack down on gambling in games

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Gambling regulators pledge to work together for better understanding of challenges posed by games.

European gambling regulators are cracking down on websites and game publishers who create risks by “blurring of lines between gaming and gambling". Eurogamer was first to report about the decision by 15 regulating bodies (14 from EU, 1 from US) to join forces against this rising problem.

Less than 2 weeks ago Belgium began an investigation of FIFA’s loot boxes. Similar concerns over the last year have been raised about loot box systems implemented by EA, Valve, Blizzard Entertainment and other game publishers.

Authors of the declaration are looking at a variety of ways games can be tainted by gambling, and they go far beyond loot boxes:

"Concerns in this area have manifested themselves in controversies relating to skin betting, loot boxes, social casino gaming and the use of gambling-themed content within video games available to children."

Gambling watchdogs consider their declaration to be useful not only for users, but also for companies that profit from games. If publishers build communication channels with local authorities, they will be able to identify problems and develop solutions more effectively.

The Declaration doesn’t mean that any rules have changed: each regulator will abide by local laws and other authorities. The members-only plan to work together to better understand the challenges posed by gaming:

"We commit ourselves today to working together to thoroughly analyze the characteristics of video games and social gaming."

 A copy of the document can be found here.


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