Skip to content Skip to footer

Safer Gambling Week 19th to 25th November


Citizens Advice Dudley Borough continues to support the Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) by providing advice on the potential harms of loot boxes – particularly the affects it may have on young people’s mental health, wellbeing and finances.

The GHA is launching #LidOnLoots – a campaign calling for paid-for loot boxes to be classed as a form of gambling and banned from video games played by under 18s.

New research with young gamers revealed that the vast majority (91%) view buying a loot box as a form of gambling. Current legislation does not class loot boxes as gambling because the items won cannot be ‘cashed out’. However, a survey found that one in ten gamers ‘always’ or ‘often’ sell the item won in a loot box for money, making this activity gambling according to legislation, as the prize results in money.

The survey also found that:
• One third (34%) said that games rarely make it clear from the start they feature loot boxes that have to be paid for
• Two in five (41%) think spending money on a loot box when under 18 would make them more likely to gamble when older
• Three quarters (75%) feel that buying a loot box is bad for their health, citing feelings of addiction, regret and anger when purchasing loot boxes
• Almost half (48%) try to hide how much time or money they spend on games;
• Three quarters (76%) thought that loot boxes should be illegal for under 18s to buy.

Helen Wills, host of Teenage Kicks, a podcast about teens’ mental health, commented:

“I see online gaming as a brilliant way for my kids to keep in touch with their friends, especially during lockdown. I knew about FIFA ‘packs’ but I hadn’t realised the potential for these loot boxes to become addictive. I’ve discussed gambling with my son now, and I think it’s important that all parents have this conversation with their kids.”