The Swedish agency responsible for consumer protection (Konsumentverket) is pushing to impose new sanctions to counter certain video game features directly. The predicted turn of events follows a report released by Konsumentverket detailing prospective threats of loot boxes targeting to solicit children as well as adults. Moreover, loot boxes pose a potential threat to the Gaming Market Commission, Spelmarknadsutredningen. The report from Konsumentverket includes measures that aim at mitigating the adverse effects of gambling in the county. On the other hand, some continue to insist that loot boxes pose no threat.
Since video games utilize redeemable loot prizes as a means for gamers to obtain customizable or any other random reward, it doesn’t necessarily mean using loot boxes falls under gambling. The difference comes into play when you exchange real money for the unknown content present in the loot box. Now, this counts as gambling and remits under the Gambling Act of Sweden. The report also indicates that multiple individuals can note the differences between real-money gambling and loot boxes. Loot boxes involve the mechanics of purchasing an item without your prior knowledge of what is contained inside.
According to the report, it remains near-impossible to precisely reckon the degree of consumer troubles facilitated by loot boxes in the local Swedish market. There are only a few existing cases that have attracted media attention, both locally and abroad. Many individuals have spent thousands of hard-earned money to obtain loot boxes. Nonetheless, both the Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) and Konsumentverket have not received notifications and queries concerning loot prize boxes.
Pundits argue that more aspects of gambling share a resemblance with loot boxes. This includes loot box high availability, sound and image effects, the ability to engage in the game at home and short interval between wager time and outcome. It is also easy for users to lose track of how they use money. According to Sweden’s Minister for Social Security, every consumer is entitled to proper protection.
Many regions have been looking into loot box characteristics that make it similar to gambling. Just recently, Valve put restrictions on the new loot box key trading from being traded between users. This resolution was made following reports that the feature was being used for money laundering.