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Washington State and 15 countries team up over video game gambling concerns

Washington State and 15 countries team up over video game gambling concerns

September 17, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

September 17, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
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An international pool of gambling regulators has published a letter addressing the group’s increasing concerns with “the risks being posed by the blurring of lines between gambling and other forms of digital entertainment such as video games.”

The group says that, specifically, concerns have arisen in the past involving skin betting, loot boxes, social casino gaming, and gambling-themed content in games geared toward (or otherwise made available to) children.

Washington State, which itself has waged war against companies like Valve in the past over gambling circles involving the developer’s game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, joins 15 European gambling regulators and gaming authority figures in signing the declaration published today. 

Those regulators include individuals from Latvia, the Czech Republic, Isle of Man, France, Spain, Malta, Jersey, Gibraltar, Ireland, Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Poland, Austria, and Washington State, all of whom pledge through the declaration to work “together to thoroughly analyze the characteristics of video games and social gaming” and open up an informed dialogue between gambling regulators and game developers.

“Our authorities are committed to the objectives of their public policies with regard to consumer protection, prevention of problem gambling and ensuring the safety of underage persons. While each regulator has distinct duties and powers within our own national gambling frameworks, we share a number of common principles including the need for gambling to be regulated to ensure high standards of integrity, fairness and consumer protection, in particular in relation to children,” reads the group’s declaration, readable in full here.

”Given these shared principles, we are increasingly concerned with the risks being posed by the blurring of lines between gambling and other forms of digital entertainment such as video gaming. Concerns in this area have manifested themselves in controversies relating to skin betting, loot boxes, social casino gaming and the use of gambling-themed content within video games available to children. Regulators identify in such emerging gaming products and services similar characteristics to those that led our respective legal frameworks and authorities to provide for the regulation of online gambling.”



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