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Gambling: Video Games

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 19th February 2020.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if his Department will take steps to (a) close the monetisation loophole in gambling legislation in regards to loot boxes and (b) empower the Gambling Commission to regulate loot boxes in video games.

Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness amongst children of the risks of (a) in-game purchases and loot boxes in video games and (b) other forms of gambling.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005, and to tackle issues around loot boxes. Further details will be announced in due course.

From September 2020 it will be mandatory for state-funded secondary schools in England to teach pupils about risks related to online gambling as part of education about internet safety and harms. This is in addition to initiatives by third sector bodies, including the PSHE Association’s resources for teachers, Parentzone’s tools to help parents educate children about gambling and gambling-like mechanics in gaming, and the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust’s (YGAM) training and resources about gambling and digital resilience for teachers, youth workers, mental health specialists and others who work with children and young people.

We also welcomed the launch in January 2020 of the games industry’s Get Smart About P.L.A.Y. campaign encouraging parents to use parental controls and take an active role in their children’s gaming specifically.

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