NHS’ mental health director calls for a ban on loot boxes

NHS’ mental health director calls for a ban on loot boxes

22nd January 2020 0 By Jordan Heal

NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch has called for a crack down on loot boxes, saying they pose gambling risks to young children.

She urged caution to video game firms stating they risk “setting kids up for addiction” by implementing them into their projects

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has confirmed it will be opening a new treatment centre and up to 14 new gambling clinics nationwide to address significant mental health conditions linked to addiction.

The investment is part of the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’ to tackle the issue. It is backed by at least £2.3 billion extra funding within the next five years.

“Frankly, no company should be setting kids up for addiction by teaching them to gamble on the content of these loot boxes,” she said.

“No firm should sell children loot box games with this element of chance, so yes those sales should end.

“Young people’s health is at stake, and although the NHS is stepping up with these new, innovative services available to families through our Long Term Plan, we cannot do this alone, so other parts of society must do what they can to limit risks and safeguard children’s wellbeing.”

A report by the Royal Society of Public Health last month discovered that more than half of young people believe playing video games could lead to gambling – and the link between the pair is a negative one.

Interested in reading more loot box-related stories? Discover more about Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand campaigning to raise awareness in parents on how to limit in-game spending.