There are strong protections in place against operators of illegal gambling facilities, including within video games. All operators providing gambling services to consumers in Britain require a licence from the Gambling Commission and must adhere to strict requirements for the protection of children and the vulnerable. The Gambling Commission has also commissioned the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board to examine the wider relationship between children and gambling.
In addition, consumers are protected by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. This includes a requirement on businesses not to subject anyone to misleading or aggressive marketing practices, or, for example, direct exhortation to buy products, such as games content, including in-game purchases such as loot boxes. The government is committed to ensuring that consumers are properly protected and that children’s vulnerability and inexperience is not exploited by aggressive commercial practices.
The government’s Internet Safety Strategy sets out how the government will work with online platforms, game publishers and game developers, and with agencies such as the VSC Rating Board, to continue to improve online safety in games.
The government recognises the risks that come from increasing convergence between gambling and video games. The Gambling Commission is keeping this matter under review and will continue to monitor developments in the market.