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Sweden are investigating whether loot boxes are gambling

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Another day, another country investigating loot boxes. This time it’s Sweden who may be classifying loot boxes as gambling in the future.

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Sweden’s minister of civil affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi, has revealed loot boxes could be classified as gambling in Sweden by 2019 (via ResetEra).

“We are working to regain control of the gaming market as soon as possible and ensure that Swedish consumer protection rules apply to all actors involved in gaming,” Shekarabi says in interview with Swedish radio station P3 news. “I am ready to ask our authorities to take a closer look at the phenomenon of loot boxes in the next step and see if there is a need to change legislation in order to strengthen consumer protection.”

Currently, in-game loot boxes are not covered by the Swedish lottery law. Similar to UK law, loot boxes avoid being classified as gambling as their contents are not worth “real-life value.” Swedish law also only covers operations conducted in Sweden, allowing Swedish developers to implement the feature in other countries.

Germany is also looking into restricting in-game loot boxes according to national German newspaper Welt (via PC Gamer).

According to Welt, Germany’s Youth Protection Commission of the State Media Authorities is considering banning certain elements in videogames. “I think it is conceivable that loot boxes could violate the ban on buying appeals to children and adolescents,” the chairman of the commission tells Welt.

A decision is due in March about whether loot boxes are to be banned and what the consequences will be for developers who implement them.