Belgium is right to class video game loot boxes as child gambling

Belgium’s Gaming Commission has decided that ‘loot box’ mechanics in three popular video games encourage children to gamble. The games industry doesn’t need them
26/04/2018
  • ‘A vicious circle I couldn’t break’: the software helping tackle online betting

    “Iself-excluded from the major online casinos but there was always a new company I could open with and some of them don’t make it easy to self-exclude,” says Michael, a bricklayer from Glasgow, who started betting on football and greyhounds when he was 15, before developing a serious gambling...
  • Lessons about risks of gambling piloted in British schools

    Thinktank trials scheme to teach children about problems that can ‘wreak havoc on people’s lives’ Lessons about the risks of gambling have been trialled in secondary schools in an attempt to address high levels of gambling among school-age children. Around 25,000 children in the UK are currently classed as problem gamblers, with one...
  • Cabinet reshuffle could threaten gambling curbs, say campaigners

    Anti-gambling campaigners have voiced fears that new culture secretary, Matt Hancock, will shy away from strict curbs on fixed-odds betting terminals, as it emerged the machines are taking more revenue than ever from British punters. Anti-FOBT campaigners warned that Hancock, who replaced Karen Bradley in this week’s cabinet reshuffle by Theresa May,...
  • Nasal spray aimed at tackling gambling addiction to be trialled in Finland

    Could gambling addiction be treated with a nasal spray? A group of Finnish researchers are launching a study to find out. The fast-working spray contains naloxone, which is commonly used as an emergency treatment for overdoses of opiates such as heroin, opium and morphine. It blocks the production of...
  • Gambling-style apps offered on Facebook without age checks

    The company behind thousands of the UK’s fixed-odds betting terminals(FOBTs) is offering gambling-style apps on Facebook without age checks, prompting allegations that children are being exposed to the risk of addiction. Earlier this month, the industry watchdog warned that more than 60,000 children were either gambling addicts or were in danger of...
  • Gambling addicts still hooked on machines as bookies fail to enforce scheme

    A government scheme that is meant to allow staff at betting shops to bar problem gamblers has drawn fresh criticism after an investigation found that addicts are still being allowed to bet. An undercover reporter posing as a known problem gambler who should have been ejected from bookmakers when attempting to...
  • 25,000 children in Britain are problem gamblers, report finds

    About 25,000 children aged between 11 and 16 are problem gamblers, with many learning to bet via computer games and social media, according to a report that has prompted warnings that Britain is “sleepwalking into a future public health storm”. In its annual survey of youth gambling (pdf), industry regulator the Gambling Commission...
  • UK gambling charity chair says attitudes in industry stunned her

    The chair of the UK’s leading gambling charity, who previously led the inquiry into the role of the NHS in the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal, said she was stunned by industry attitudes towards concerns about problem gambling. Kate Lampard, chair of GambleAware, warned gambling firms that they faced an “existential threat”...
  • Problem gamblers – no one knows how many exist or cost to the state

    The government has no idea how many problem gamblers are being treated by the NHS or how much their addiction is costing, prompting concern from leading charities that people in need of help are slipping through the net. The Department of Health also conceded, in response to questions from...
  • Can councils stop bookmakers’ push into poor areas? Don’t bet on it

    In the runup to Christmas, Bradford’s imposing city centre is littered with festive lights. They give a little cheer to a somewhat run-down Victorian shopping district dominated by building societies, banks, charity shops, and, more recently, a growing concentration of betting shops. There are 11 in barely a 250m radius,...
  • High stakes battle on the high street: Newham’s fight against FOBTs

    “I see them come up and down, betting shop to bank machine, back and forth. They walk past me like I’m a ghost,” says Kelly, a young homeless woman sitting on the pavement between Lloyds Bank and Betfred in Newham, east London. She prefers to spend what little change she collects...
  • Gambling charity warns betting firms are failing to fund addiction treatment

    Gambling firms are failing to honour a pledge to donate part of their income to fund addiction treatment and should be forced to do so by law, the UK’s leading problem-gambling charity has said. GambleAware told the Guardian it had lost patience after companies’ failure to pay left it facing a...
  • Newham’s residents suffer from high-stakes gambling machines

    Further to your article (Crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals unveiled, theguardian.com, 31 October) the UK government looks set once again to dodge the hard decisions around high-stakes gambling. It is over a year since the review was launched and the response is to kick the issue into the long...
  • Labour plans to make betting firms pay levy to treat gambling addiction

    Deputy leader Tom Watson accuses companies of targeting poor communities and vulnerable people Labour will force gambling companies to pay a levy to fund research and NHS treatment to help problem gamblers deal with their addiction. Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, said that if elected the party would “finally confront...
  • Betting and media firms offer to fund addiction awareness ad campaign

    Offer to government is revealed as ministers prepare to publish review covering regulation of gambling adverts Betting firms and broadcasters have made an offer to the government to fund an £8m addiction awareness campaign, in a move Labour warned must not be a “stitch-up” to stave off tighter regulation...
  • Betting firms could be fined over ads ‘targeting vulnerable people’

    Advertising disguised as news claimed gambler cleared debts and funded medical treatment using online casino games Four betting firms could face fines over adverts disguised as news articles that “targeted vulnerable people” with claims about a gambler who cleared his debts and paid for his wife’s medical treatment by...
  • Problem gambling is soaring. Labour is right to pledge radical reform

    The promise to ban football shirt sponsorship is a good start to tackling this crisis, but cross-party action to mitigate the suffering of addiction is urgently needed When Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson was challenged on Newsnight last week about his party’s role in liberalising gambling, he signalled a long-awaited shift...
  • Gambling firm 888 penalised record £7.8m for failing vulnerable customers

    The online betting firm 888 has been penalised a record £7.8m for “outrageous” failings, after more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling were still able to access their accounts. One customer was allowed to make 850,000 bets worth £1.3m in one year, using money stolen...
  • Revealed: how gambling industry targets poor people and ex-gamblers

    The gambling industry is using third-party companies to harvest people’s data, helping bookmakers and online casinos target people on low incomes and those who have stopped gambling, the Guardian can reveal. Traditional online gambling ads have become more expensive, which has encouraged betting firms to resort to alternative means...
  • Problem gamblers place up to 90 bets a day and bet in middle of night

    People with online gambling problems spend an average of £98 a day, place up to 90 bets and are more likely to gamble in the middle of the night, according to a new report. That compares with just £14 among those not considered to be at risk, who typically...
  • Number of problem gamblers in the UK rises to more than 400,000

    Gambling Commission report finds more than 2 million people are addicted to gambling or at risk of developing a problem. ‘The temptation is always there’: readers on the rise of problem gamblers in the UK More than 2 million people in the UK are either problem gamblers or at...
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