Earlier in January, the state of Washington saw a new bill drafted by Senator Kevin Ranker, seeking to find out whether loot boxes and other video game tools could be constituted as a form of gambling which targets children. Now, with the SB 6102 filed, three Washington Senators – Kevin Ranker, Reuven Carlyle and Karen Keiser – have called for the local gambling authority to make a decision on the matter.
Apart from the fact that the Senators urged the local gambling authority to bring more clarity to the matter and determine whether or not loot boxes constitute a form of gambling, they also insisted that local legislature should take adequate measures in case that they are described as such. According to them, the effects of such form of gambling could be massive on both local customers and the industry as a whole.
As earlier reported by CasinoGamesPro, the new Senate Bill 6266 was officially introduced to the state’s legislature on January 11th and then referred to the Washington Labor & Commerce Committee. A public hearing is set to take place on the matter in the Committee on January 31st.
Two Bills on Loot Boxes Drafted in Washington
For some time now, loot boxes have been a matter of interest not only in the State of Washington, but also worldwide. The Senate Bill 6102 is not the only piece of legislation aimed at clarifying the status quo of loot boxes in the state. Another bill, known as SB 6266 was also filed during this year’s Regular Session of Washington’s legislature. The latter, however, is not aimed at bringing any actual measures against loot boxes for now, but is more focused on clarifying if such video games’ features could be described as gambling or not.
Unlike the proposed SB 6266, the new SB 6102 which is sponsored by Senator Kevin Ranker is seeking more answers and actions from both the industry and the state, as it calls them to find out the best way to regulate loot boxes in Washington.
In comparison, the Senate Bill 6266 only calls for a study to be carried out in order to find out whether loot boxes and other similar mechanisms used in some video games should be considered a form of gambling under the existing legislation in the state of Washington. Even more importantly, the SB 6266 bill aims to raise the awareness that children and young people who are usually more susceptible to gambling addictions could be targeted by loot boxes.
Now, the three Democratic senators urged the state gambling regulator to submit the afore-mentioned study no later than December 1st, 2018. They also insist the competent authority to present its written findings on the matter and make recommendations on possible regulation of loot boxes and similar video game tools in order to make sure they are fair and transparent to local customers.