Gujarat Exclusive > Gujarat news > PIL seeks ban on ‘loot box’ in online gaming platforms, calls it ‘online gambling’

PIL seeks ban on ‘loot box’ in online gaming platforms, calls it ‘online gambling’

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Aaquib Chhipa, Ahmedabad: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed before the Gujarat High Court has sought a ban or regulation on ‘Loot Box’, alleging that it is a form of gambling that is available on certain virtual and online video gaming platforms.

The petition filed through advocate Dhruvin N Dossani said several games like PUBG, FIFA 21, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, etc offered a loot box as a purchase for money to players in return for uncertain rewards.

This kind of sale of a loot box is ‘gambling’ as rewards promised is uncertain and it should be regulated by the government or should be banned, the PIL said.

What is a loot box?

In video games, a loot box (also called a loot/prize crate) is a  consumable virtual item that can be redeemed to receive a random selection of virtual items, or loot. This may range from simple customization options for a player’s avatar or character to more weapons and armor for the game.

A loot box is a kind of in-game purchase that the players of a particular game buy with actual money and get a reward that is essentially uncertain and is virtual.

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Countries like Belgium and Netherland have held the loot boxes as ‘gambling’, as the game is of chance, and it lacks the protection for players.

What PIL says about Loot Box?

The hidden nature of the game of chances is problematic and if not properly intervened it will cause major damage to people, family, and society, the PIL argues.

The petition has also sought direction from Gujarat High Court to the state to form a committee to identify the total number of online games offering loot box purchases to players and regulate them.

As per a report by the Royal Society for Public Health of the United Kingdom purchase of a loot box is viewed as ‘highly addictive’ among young gamers.

Earlier, Gujarat High Court had directed state authorities to frame appropriate laws to regulate online gambling. The revenue of the gaming industry in India is expected to touch $1 billion by 2021.

 

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