The future law on lootboxes or loot boxes that are activated in some video games and allow overcoming challenges in exchange for paying with virtual or real currency will be prohibited for minors and, for this, access to the game will require the DNI or biomarkers, which attest to the player's age. This is stated in the bill that the public hearing process begins this Friday and that it will be open until July 23.
The Government will regulate the loot boxes of video games to prevent gambling in minors
Once the contributions to the standard are assessed, the text will go to the Council of Ministers and, after its approval, the parliamentary process will begin as a bill. According to the text of the draft to which Efe has had access, the rule will affect "only and exclusively" the so-called random reward mechanisms (MAR) when the prizes cost money or other virtual objects purchased with money, directly or indirectly, and here they enter , for example, cryptocurrencies.
The rule will affect the loot boxes that are inside video games and the exchange platforms that have these reward mechanisms even if they are unrelated to video games.
In addition to the prohibition of access to minors, for those over 18 years of age there will be possibilities to limit expenses. These limitations may be partial in the playing time and the maximum amount of spending and totals, with a self-exclusion system for those people with addiction problems who voluntarily prohibit themselves from access.
The norm also establishes that the operators will be obliged to give truthful information about the real probabilities of obtaining a prize.
Physical and online advertising prohibited
And as for advertising, physical advertising (outdoor signage or printed media) and "online" in web environments, including social networks not related to video games, are prohibited. In the media such as radio or television, it is prohibited except from one to five in the morning.
The rule establishes a sanctioning regime for infractions that ranges from minor, with fines of up to 25,000 euros, and serious, with penalties ranging between 25,000 and 200,000 euros. In the case of very serious infractions, the fines can range from 200,000 euros to three million. In addition, it contemplates the closure of the means by which services are provided or allow the activation of random reward mechanisms (MAR).
With this preliminary project, it is about putting limits on the compulsive and impulsive transactions that some video games generate and advancing in the prevention of gambling disorders, according to the words of the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón.
A study published a year ago by the Cyberpsychology Group of the International University of La Rioja revealed that 29% of Spanish minors bought loot boxes in video games in the last twelve months and 91% did so with the knowledge of his family. The study “Loot boxes in Spanish minors: relationship with video game problems and online betting” also revealed that 20.2% claimed to have bought between one and five boxes in a month and 5.5% had spent more than 100 euros per month in this type of transaction.