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Changing the Game in Youth Gambling.

Missouri Senator proposing national legislation to ban “Loot Boxes.”

In recent years, the video game industry has become increasingly dependent on monetization models that promote compulsive purchases by consumers. One of the most common examples of this are Loot Boxes – which have been incorporated in both free and paid video games and offer players randomized rewards in exchange for money.

Loot Boxes combine the addictive properties of pay-to-win with the compulsive behaviors inherent to other forms of gambling – and the games that they’re featured in are often primarily targeted at children. That fact has not gone unnoticed – and one Missouri Senator is taking action, with landmark legislation aimed at banning the exploitation of children.

Senator Josh Hawley has introduced “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act.” The legislation would apply new consumer protections to video games played by minors including the prohibition of:

  • Loot Boxes – microtransactions offering randomized rewards to players
  • Pay-to-Win – inducing players to advance in games through additional costs

These rules would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. State Attorneys General would also be empowered to file suit to defend the residents of their states against abusive practices.

For more information on problem gambling in Ohio, visit BeforeYouBet.org.

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