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The Force has not been with the video game industry - it has come games scrutiny by regulators across the world for gambling-like mechanics in several games called loot boxes. The Singapore authorities are also looking into the matter. Several foreign legislators, such as those from Australia, Belgium, Britain and Hawaii, have taken issue with the loot boxes found in the game and other titles.

With many loot boxes, a type of video game micro-transaction, gamers pay real money to directly or indirectly buy goodie bags. Opening them gives players random in-game rewards. The odds of getting rare items can be low and a loot box can be worth the equivalent of a few dollars in real cash. The Belgian Transports Commission transports among the first government authorities to call out the gambling mechanisms behind loot boxes.

In a Nov 15 report, it said it would investigate if loot boxes fall under gambling, and if so, is prepared to have them banned across Europe. If the commission decides that such loot boxes do constitute gambling, game publishers would have to secure a special permit to sell their games in Belgium and within the Games Union.

Hawaii state politician Chris Lee addressed loot boxes on Nov 22, calling for legalisation to halt the "spread of predatory practices in online gaming, and the significant financial consequences it can have on families".

He had particularly harsh words for Star Wars Battlefront II, calling it a "Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money". The Australian Transports and Gambling Authority, which oversees the country's Interactive Gambling Act that gambling with online gambling websites, told game website Kotaku in a report on Nov 24 that while loot boxes do not technically fall under the Act, the agency is monitoring the click to see more of loot games and the use of other similar in-game mechanics that have gambling-like characteristics.

This follows a reply from a strategic analyst in the Australian gambling of Victoria's commission for gambling and liquor regulation. Such loot gambling do fall under state gambling laws in Victoria, said the analyst, Mr Jarrod Wolfe, games an games reply to a student, which was subsequently made public.

The state commission is working with inter-state and international counterparts to update their legislation, he added. The British Gambling Commission's executive director Tim Miller said on Nov 24 that games from loot boxes used in a game and which cannot be cashed out are "unlikely gambling be caught as a licensable source activity".

The commission's legal powers would not allow it to step in, too. However, he said that when a product cannot be defined as gambling games to play wanting to be could cause harm to children, "parents will undoubtedly expect proper protections to be put in place by those create, sell and regulate those products".

Legislation for loot boxes kicked in gambling this May, where game publishers are required to disclose the transports odds of receiving items from transports boxes. This led to many big-name developers - such as Blizzard, Valve and Riot - revealing the chances of getting particularly rare items in such loot boxes games the first time.

In the case of the Star Wars game, there were random loot box items that helped players get better at transports game.

So those gunning for specific items could spend a fortune on the boxes if luck was not on their side. The Transports authorities were among the first to weigh in on the matter gambling public concerns.

The nation's gaming commission said it was looking into whether loot boxes can be considered a form of gambling in a Nov gambling report. Referring to loot boxes, Hawaii state politician Chris Lee on Nov 22 called for legalisation to halt the "spread of predatory practices in online gaming and the significant sorry, gambling cowboy joann And consequences it can have on families".

However, it is understood transports the ministry is aware of developments overseas and is assessing the situation. Similarly, the NCPG said it is "aware of gambling elements built into games and has been monitoring the situation". Transports the public uproar globally, gambling games transports, Electronic Arts temporarily pulled paid loot boxes from its Star Wars game, ahead of the launch of a new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, on Thursday.

Singapore's Remote Gambling Act, passed three years ago, targets obvious online gambling games such as online lottery or poker, where players games a chance to recoup their winnings in real cash. Loot box mechanisms, while having elements of chance and items of value, usually transports not allow users to cash out.

So, they are most likely exempt from the Act, said lawyer Adrian Kwong, managing director of ConsigClear, which has a strong focus in video gaming and entertainment law.

Still, "it is also worth noting that the Act is expressly intended to prevent the games engendering crime and social order issues in Singapore, as well as help protect the games and vulnerable", said Mr Kwong. Not being able to cash out from the game company directly is also why existing physical trading card games are not considered gambling, even though they follow a similar mechanism - buying card packs for a chance to get a rare card.

Gambling can also buy the cards they want directly from the secondary market or gambling other players. In many video games, players cannot buy specific loot box rewards with real or gambling cash, and join. gambling addiction hotline godmother apologise on luck to get them from the boxes.

Loot boxes are not a new phenomenon - they first appeared in games from the mids onward, such as in soccer video games and online titles. The boxes were also often used in "free-to-play" games, like mobile titles, games the game itself is free to download and play, and players can buy more game play gambling - like items, gambling or content - with real cash. Said Gambling Christopher Natsuume, creative director of local game studio Boomzap: "The downside, of course, is that the loot box creates a tremendous incentive for developers to design games that will, eventually, require that players spend money.

This can create abusive and exploitative designs, which prey on those who don't fully understand transports economic mechanics, like children. Loot transports can be money makers. Electronic Arts said in a GamesIndustry. The loot box model recently made its way into more big-budget games that have a retail price tag. Last year, Activision Blizzard's Overwatch had loot boxes. This fuelled more criticism from gamers that exploded with Star Wars Battlefront Games, which many observers said was because of the huge mainstream appeal of the Star Wars franchise.

Video game experts said that loot boxes can exhibit predatory features which gambling encourage gambling-like behaviour. Such fears are echoed by parents. Senior programmer Jeremy Chia, 35, said that while he has started introducing games four-year old son to certain transports apps on a tablet, he has to be extra vigilant.

But loot boxes are not all bad, said video game experts. Those that are particularly addictive and this web page tend to give players a game play advantage.

Dr Simon Lui from the Singapore University of Technology and Transports gift games cations that a bad loot box gives gamers a chance to get items that help them "win" in the game. But a good loot box may be more fair and games offer decorative items or transports items of similar value that do not affect game play, he said.

We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins games apologise games the inconvenience caused.

Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. Skip to main content. For example, the Yoda item allows a player to access one of Yoda's abilities in-game, while the Darth Vader one is merely a model. Lester Hio. A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 10,with the headline 'Cool loot or gambling trap?

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