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The industry's disingenuous defense of loot boxes | This Week in Business

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Sign up for the GI Daily here to get the biggest news straight to your inbox Earlier this month, the Australian House of Representatives' Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee held public hearings into various aspects of online gambling, including loot boxes in video games.

During those hearings, legislators heard from consumer rights' advocates and academics about fostering gambling addiction in children and normalizing gambling in culture, manipulative design patterns, research suggesting loot boxes as a gateway activity to undisputable gambling activities, the logistical challenges around legislating loot boxes, and how they might best be overcome.

The industry's point of view was represented by two trade groups, the International Social Games Association (ISGA) and the Australian video games trade body Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA).

Their defenses of loot boxes were, for the most part, predictable. They said existing consumer protection laws could address the problem, as if the industry would not fight tooth and nail against any attempt to apply existing laws to loot boxes.

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