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Apple Faces Lawsuit Over App Store Loot Boxes

Niji Narayan

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Apple - Loot Boxes
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Apple is facing a proposed class action lawsuit for allegedly allowing gambling through loot boxes in App Store games.

The company is tacitly aware that loot boxes are gambling as it requires that creators disclose the “odds of winning,” according to the lawsuit, but it does not ask for a notification that loot boxes exist. Companies are also allowed to set their own age ratings, making it possible for an app deemed kid-friendly to include gambling elements.

The lawsuit cites numerous games that rely on loot boxes, including Mario Kart Tour, FIFA Soccer, Roblox and Brawl Stars. The lawsuit was filed by Rebecca Taylor, a parent whose child has allegedly fallen to the “predatory” tactics.

Industry News

EGBA Demands pan-European Consumer Rights for iGaming

Niji Narayan

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EGBA Demands pan-European Consumer Rights for iGaming
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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has demanded for the introduction of a specific single set of consumer rights for Europe’s iGaming sector.

The European Commission (EC) will publish its new consumer strategy later this year. The EGBA wants the EC to incorporate its demand into the new strategy. It is now consulting stakeholders for developing a single pan-European set of consumer rights.

EGBA has sent a letter to EC with the following excerpts:

In its submission to the EC, it says: “The lack of regulatory consistency jeopardises online players’ safety, as it exposes them to the unregulated and unsafe websites of the black market, which profits to the detriment of the European economy.

“EGBA advocates sector-specific EU regulation for consumer and minor protection.

“There are simple rules that can be proposed, to ensure that online players, minors and players who are at risk are equally protected.

“For example, self-excluded players could benefit from a European self-exclusion register, that would prohibit access to any regulated website of the EU.

“To bridge the gap stemming from inconsistent rules on protecting minors from gambling marketing, EGBA has recently published a European code of conduct to establish minimum requirements on responsible advertising.

“Greater regulatory cooperation between member states can also facilitate the dialogue to achieve harmonisation.

“To this end EGBA regrets the dissolvement of the European expert group for online gambling, as national gambling regulators are deprived from the opportunity to meet and exchange in the framework of a common platform.”

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Industry News

Jumpman Gaming Integrates Slingo Originals Content

Niji Narayan

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Jumpman Gaming Integrates Slingo Originals Content
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Gaming Realms plc has announced that its Slingo Originals content is live with Jumpman Gaming platform.

Jumpman Gaming is a UK-based B2B casino networks offering about 600 fun, casual and affordable slots and bespoke bingo games.

Slingo Originals content will now also be distributed via SG Digital’s Opening Gaming System platform to Jumpman’s white label partners.

Michael Buckley, Executive Chairman of Gaming Realms, said: “We’re delighted that through our partnership with Scientific Games we have been able to launch our Slingo Originals content with Jumpman, a key innovator in the iGaming industry operating an extensive network of partner sites.

“The partnership is testament to the popularity of the Slingo content range and we look forward tocontinuing to innovate, launching market-leading content to new audiences.”

Kris Kukula, MD of Jumpman Gaming, remarked: “We’re delighted to welcome the Slingo content to our network. Given its success, both in the UK and globally, we believe it will be a perfect fit to expand our customer and entertainment experience.”

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Australian Study: Loot Box Buyers More Susceptible To Problem

Niji Narayan

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Australian Study: Loot Box Buyers More Susceptible To Problem
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Researchers in Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory (EGRL) at CQUniversity Australia has found that purchase of loot boxes make players more prone to real-life gambling problems. According to the study, players who purchase loot boxes are not only more likely to gamble in real life but more likely to wager for large amounts as well.

The study was funded by the NSW Government Responsible Gambling Fund. It had a sample size of 1,954 NSW residents who age ranged from 12 to 24. Among the respondents, 22.3% admitted to have gambling problems. The high percentage of people with gambling problems could be due to the fact that sample was chosen among people who engage with gambling and video games.

The study also found that 62% of the most popular video games have loot boxes of some form. In the study, a large majority of respondents (93.2%) had played at least one of these games in the last 12 months and 69.4% had opened a loot box from these games in the same period, However, only 32.9% of the respondents have actually bought the loot boxes.

Professor Matthew Rockloff, the lead author of the study, said: “[Loot boxes] are a growing concern because of the risk and reward elements associated with them that is similar to gambling and there are currently no age limits to play these games. For both young adults and adolescents, there was a strong association between current loot box use and gambling risk. Consequently, although median expenditure on loot boxes is modest, there is evidence that these products are associated with harmful gambling involvement.”

The study urges for preventative measures to prevent the exposure of adolescents to loot boxes.

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