The Environment and Communications References Committee of the Australian Senate has completed its inquiry into the extent to which gaming micro-transactions for chance-based items, sometimes referred to as 'loot boxes', may be harmful.
The committee recommended that the Australian Government undertake a comprehensive review of loot boxes in video games. This review should be led by the Department of Communications and the Arts in conjunction with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner, the Classification Board and the Department of Social Services.
This review should commission further research into the potential for gambling-related harms to be experienced as a result of interaction with loot boxes; identify any regulatory or policy gaps which may exist in Australia's regulatory frameworks; examine the adequacy of the Classification Scheme as it relates to video games containing loot boxes; consider if existing consumer protection frameworks adequately address issues unique to loot boxes; and ensure that Australia's approach to the issue is consistent with international counterparts.
While the Australian Greens agreed with many of the observations made within the Majority Report, it's view was that evidence given in this inquiry clearly indicates the risk to children and vulnerable adults from developing gambling-related harms through interaction with loot boxes is of such significance that stronger regulatory action should be taken. It made five recommendations on action to be taken.
At the commencement of the inquiry, the committee invited individuals and organisations to send their opinions and proposals in writing. The Foundation was one of 42 individuals and organisations that made a submission.
Read the submissions to the inquiry.