How to Reduce Harm from Loot Boxes and Skin Trading to Youth: GamCare’s Recommendations

The internet is an essential aspect of human life today. It provides unlimited ways by which one can get entertained. However, there is exploitation happening in the gaming industry. Companies lure gamers to buy loot boxes. Players participate in skin betting. Both of these can cause harm, and GamCare is taking measures to prevent this harm.

While the gambling commissions in the UK, Malta or Curacao can help regulate online gambling facilities like casino online GGBet, they do not have jurisdiction on mobile games where people “gamble” for loot boxes. Despite that, GamCare took leadership and facilitated a study to take a closer look at the issue. The Gambling Related Financial Harm Project Steering Group wants to drive changes to the mobile gaming industry and has issued several recommendations.

Block bank cards for under-18 users for gambling

GamCare advocates that financial service providers like card issuers must block gambling blocks for all users under the age of 18. They also said that the financial services sector must participate in actively raising awareness about the issue. 

This idea makes sense, and it is urgent. Young people are more likely to develop gambling problems than adults. The financial services sector controls the transaction. They hold the key to reducing financial harm among young people. 

If they block expenses related to gambling, people under the age of 18 won’t have a choice. They cannot gamble, period. All they can do is buy games and items from the games but not participate in online gambling and betting facilities. 

Education about gambling and finance

Companies in the financial services sector must fund charities that educate people about money. These educational exercises could reduce the possibility of developing a gambling addiction. Most of the time, people get addicted to gambling because they do not realize what it is. 

 Awareness is the key to mitigating the issues about gambling. Companies that offer financial services need not create a separate entity for financial and gambling education. Instead, they could partner with existing ones, especially those in the gambling support industry, to make this happen. 

Some facilities and organizations help people who have a gambling problem. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, they have effective methods to help those who are suffering. They know how to solve the problem, and their ways of recovery from addiction work.  

Financial institutions and gambling companies must work with these facilities to educate the masses, especially the young people. Then, they can fund these events and activities instead of these organizations trying to scrape money off donors. 

Limit what people can spend

This recommendation suggests that young people must have a limit to what they could spend. Gambling businesses can implement a monitoring process to ensure that their customers do not buy more than they can spend. 

It would also help if companies implemented this policy across the board, not just young people. What they can do is to create age categories and raise the spending limit for each type. 

This suggestion can cause a stir. Some adults would say that they have a right how to spend their money. What the financial sector and gambling industry could do is focus on young people. 

Disallow credit cards for gambling

What makes it easy for people to buy loot boxes and gamble online or bet on skins is the sheer ease of it all. All you need is a credit card, and you are good to go. 

Without the internet, one has to go to a physical facility to place a bet. Today, anyone above 18 can easily sign up for an online casino account. While there is a verification process in place, it is pretty much only because of money laundering problems, but not to prevent people from gambling. 

GamCare recommends a stop to the use of credit cards to fund gambling habits. It addresses one issue where students who have cards tend to overdraft their bank accounts. There are students who use their loans and grants to gamble. As such, the advocacy here is to involve the Department of Education. They must work with the financial services sector to create new laws and policies to prevent students from mismanaging their finances. 

Separate gambling in games

The last recommendation is to separate gambling activities from games. Loot boxes are a prime example of this. Unfortunately, people buy these loot boxes with unknown rewards. 

GamCare says that there is a need to review these products in terms of their appropriate merchant category coding or MCC. They said that banks must block these transactions, provided that the user volunteered for a voluntary gambling block. 

Summary

Overall, these recommendations make sense. While the Gambling Commission has no jurisdiction over mobile games, it does have the data to prove that gambling addiction is real. They have information on what makes a person addicted to gambling and what remedies are adequate to prevent the behavior in the first place.

Gambling companies and those in the mobile industry must start listening to these studies. Then, they have to take steps to protect their users. If they don’t, there will undoubtedly come a time when the government will have to step in. 

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