Lords

Online games are harming children through gambling and other features, say Lords

Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts

Online games are harming children through the inclusion of gambling and other features, according to a major new report.

Regulators should score new games on the amount of harm they could cause to children and any that score too highly must be not be approved for sale, the report from the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry warns.

It recommends that the Gambling Commission establish the system for testing games, amid fears over the problems that “loot boxes” represent in encouraging children to gamble.

Experts have repeatedly warned that there is not enough protection for children from the feature, and that it could lead to gambling addiction and other societal problems if it is not tackled.

Current testing criteria of new games “astonishingly” do not consider the addictiveness or potential harm that could be caused, the Committee’s report said.

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