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Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie is going to introduce a bill to Parliament next month to ban the sale of in-game loot boxes to those under 18 years of age.

“We as a country accept that people over the age of 18 can gamble but let’s make that for adults and giving parents a warning,” Andrew Wilkie said.

Wilkie said that video games using loot box mechanics were grooming young children “for future gambling” and that any game featuring loot boxes should be tagged with an R18+ rating. The changes would also add a new notification, so games featuring loot boxes would receive an advisory as part of their classification rating. Some advisories listed on games today, for instance, include strong science fiction themes, coarse language, online interactivity, interactive drug use, and more.

“It’s not clear if that’s what game companies design but it’s self-evident that they have that effect,” he said. “To allow very young children to pay cash for a randomised event that may or may not reward them that would meet any definition of gambling.”

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