Environment and Communications Reference Committee
27 July 2018

Gaming micro-transactions for chance-based items

As well as evidence of the negative impact of extended game play or video gaming addiction on the mental health of young people, there is a growing evidence base on the engagement of children and young people in Australia in gambling activity via digital games which highlights a range of concerns and risks associated with this exposure. (Some of these findings are discussed in AHISA's submission.)

Based on this research, AHISA suggests that the scale of exposure of Australian children to simulated gambling games and within-game gambling represented by 'loot boxes' and other chance-based micro-transactions warrants government intervention.

AHISA recommends that governments deem the purchase of chance-based loot boxes within digital games as a form of gambling and review legislation accordingly. At the very least, the purchase of chance-based loot boxes represents a form of gaming that familiarises children and young people with gambling and normalises gambling as an activity, and signals the need for a special focus on children and young people as a sub-set of Australia's gambling population.

Submission on gaming micro-transactions for chance-based items - full version