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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 4165

Senator STEELE-JOHN (Western Australia) (15:51): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) the video game monetisation mechanic known as 'loot boxes', which generate random digital rewards in exchange for real money, is similar to gambling, and may not be appropriate for younger audiences,

   (ii) a paper published in Nature Human Behaviour on 18 June 2018, entitled 'Video game loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling', recommended that games that use loot boxes 'appear to meet both the psychological and legal definitions of gambling' and that 'ratings agencies and gambling regulatory bodies consider restricting access to people of legal gambling age',

   (iii) on 20 June 2018, the Netherlands put into effect its ban on loot boxes in video games, and

   (iv) on 20 April 2018, the Belgium Gaming Commission and the Dutch Gaming Authority ruled that some loot boxes are gambling; and

(b) calls on the Government, in conjunction with state and territory governments, to investigate the use of loot boxes in video games, whether they constitute gambling, and whether they are appropriate for younger audiences.