EPIC Risk Management has released a statement about the UK Government’s decision not to regulate loot boxes with legislation after months of investigation into the topic.
In the statement released by the company, EPIC declared that it was ‘extremely disappointed’ with the decision to avoid regulations on the game mechanic, saying that it means ‘under 18s can continue to use them as a form of unregulated gambling’ and that they will ‘use the decision as a catalyst to expand our education delivery within the nation’s schools, shining an even brighter light on the gambling-related threat they pose.’
EPIC was one of the companies that provided evidence to MP Nadine Dorries and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 17 months ago. They were among the groups that wished to introduce stricter regulations, alongside the “leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy” that “made an evidence-based case for their sale to under 18s to be banned and for parents and guardians to be given better education regarding the financial harm that the product can cause.”
Jonathan Peniket, EPIC Risk Management’s gaming and eSports consultant, who himself lost £3,000 to ‘Player Packs’ on FIFA as a teenager, said “As much as I welcome the idea from the government’s response that loot box purchases should only be possible once unlocked by a parent or guardian as a step in the right direction, I would compare this notion to allowing 12-year-olds into betting shops so long as they obtain parental approval.”
EPIC Risk Management works with around 200 high schools and colleges each year to deliver free and independent workshops that attempt to educate young people on the dangers of gambling, and how to minimise the harm that money-driven games of chance can cause. Over the summer break between school terms, the group intends to formulate a programme that highlights the hidden risks of loot boxes within video games, which they believe are “by far the most accessible means of gambling for under 18s” in the UK.