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Washington State Could Lead Charge Against Loot Boxes in Online Gaming

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Washington State Could Lead Charge Against Loot Boxes in Online GamingReading Time: 3 minutes

Washington state Senator Kevin Ranker introduced legislation bill in January that seeks an answer to this question: If they look, sound, and seem like gambling, are online-game loot boxes really gambling?

And more importantly, do these loot boxes, sometimes known as “loot crates,” which demand real money from game players for a chance to win in-game items, prey upon unsuspecting children?

Loot boxes or crates are virtual items in online games that a player can redeem to receive more virtual items for his avatar or character. It’s a way for online and mobile gaming companies to make money. The players can purchase the boxes outright, with cash, or buy keys to open the boxes.

China, Japan and Australia already regulate loot boxes.

PC Gamer reported Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi said his country might classify loot boxes as gambling next year.

“It is obvious that there are many people suffering from gambling addiction, who also get stuck in this type of gambling and lose money because of it,” Shekarabi said.

What the bill says is, ‘Industry, state: sit down to figure out the best way to regulate this,’” Ranker told the Tacoma News Tribune. “It is unacceptable to be targeting our children with predatory gambling masked in a game with dancing bunnies or something.”

If parents realized how predatory these games are,” Ranker said, “they wouldn’t want them under their Christmas tree.”

Hawaii state Rep. Chris Lee’s legislation doesn’t seek to answer the question of whether loot boxes are gambling. To the Democrat’s mind, there is no doubt that they are nothing more than online casinos that should be kept out of the hands of children.

Lee also wants a warning on games that have “gambling-based mechanics” and to state the odds of winning what’s in the loot boxes.

Lee said he fell victim to online game when he download the game Clash of Clans a couple of years ago.

At one point,” Lee told Kotaku, “I started buying crystals. I ended up spending a few hundred dollars over the course of a few months.”

When he realized what he had done, Lee deleted the game from his phone and “there was no value left – it’s just money that’s gone.”

Lee said he wasn’t alone in falling into the trap offered by loot boxes and crates. Teachers in his district told Lee plenty of stories about families who had to pay their kids’ gambling bills.

Lee also said adults, as well as children, need to be protected from “predatory practices in online gaming and the significant financial consequences it has been having on families around this nation.”

I think this is an appropriate time to make sure these issues are addressed before this becomes the new norm for every game,” Lee said.

Fellow Democratic State Rep. Sean Quinlan said during a press conference in support of Lee’s legislation, “We didn’t allow Joe Camel to encourage your kids to smoke cigarettes and we shouldn’t allow Star Wars to encourage our kids to gamble.”

Polygon reported that game players began pushing back against loot crates and boxes last year, as did reviewers of the games.

When you run out of in-game money, you have two choices: Make a huge time investment by hunting down orcs in your game world and earning chests via vendetta missions, or spend some real money to get the more powerful orcs you need now. Does the game ever force you to spend money?” read a Polygon review of the game Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. “No. I’m sure you can get to the end of Shadow Wars without spending a dime, as long as you’re patient and persistent.”

But locking progress through this mode (and, again, toward the game’s secondary ending) behind either spending more money or doing tons of tedious busywork feels at least greedy if not predatory,” the review concluded.

However, the Entertainment Software Rating Board told the Tacoma News Tribune it does not consider loot boxes to be gambling.

While the digital goods within a box or pack are mostly randomized, the player is always gauranteed {sic} to receive in-game content,” an ESRB spokesperson said in an email.

Christopher Hansford, the political engagement director of a new lobbying group that is all about creating an awareness of online gambling, Consumers for Digital Fairness, disagrees.

We’re a group of folks who are sick and tired of seeing people and a medium we love exploited by unfair practices,” Hansford told Polygon. “So we decided to put our skills and experience to work to tackle this issue.”

A CDF statement on the group’s website claimed that loot boxes or crates usually contain nothing but “worthless trash.”

These practices involving real-money inputs and games of chance simply doesn’t belong in video games,” the statement read in part. “These loot boxes would be more at home in casinos and other licensed gaming establishments with adults, not our living rooms in the hands of our children.”

 

Source: pjmedia.com


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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DAO.Casino is launching Sandbox for game developers

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Game developers will be able to become pioneers in the development of decentralized games for the gambling industry using DAO.Casino protocol.

 

On September 17, 2018, DAO.Casino is opening Sandbox for developers, independent teams and game development studios that choose to harness the power of the rapidly developing DApp industry.

Since Monday everyone may submit their application for Sandbox on the official Sandbox page.

The Sandbox project is designed by DAO.Casino developers. Participants of Sandbox will learn the basics of decentralized applications development on DAO.Casino protocol. Developers participating in Sandbox will learn to create, design and deploy decentralized games and applications on Ethereum blockchain.

DAO.Casino is planning to reward most active developers for their constructive feedback on the improvement and optimization of the SDK and related documentation. The company will separately announce the details of the rewards program later this fall.

“We are confident that the Sandbox project will play an important role in our collaboration with studios and independent game developers. We cannot wait to see our product helping developers unleash their creative and entrepreneurial talents and apply those to one of the most groundbreaking technologies of the XXI century. — states Ilya Tarutov, CEO, DAO.Casino. – I am sure that the products we’re developing will transform the online gambling into a fair and transparent industry for all of the involved parties: casino operators, developers, and affiliate marketers. “

“We are launching the Sandbox with the goal of enabling as many developers as possible to learn to create decentralized games. We have achieved an important milestone by starting to accept applications from developers all around the world who share our idea to make online gambling fair and transparent. With our technology, developers can take the whole gambling industry to the next level” – says Alexandra Fetisova from DAO.Casino.

DAO.Casino disrupted the online gambling industry in 2017 by starting the development of the protocol based on Ethereum blockchain technology. DAO.Casino protocol ensures the automation of transactions and facilitates interactions between all the industry participants: casino operators, game developers, and affiliate marketers. DAO.Casino team is fully dedicated to developing the best products and making the gambling industry a better place.

 


Source: European Gaming Media

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm Gaming

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BTG licences its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to UK-based developer Storm Gaming Technology Ltd

 

Pioneering online slot developer, Big Time Gaming, has struck yet another deal to licence its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to Storm Gaming. Storm Gaming will be combining this with some of its brand licenses including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Chase and Tipping Point to take its slots to the next level and deliver a superior player experience. The partnership will allow Storm Gaming to design and develop its own games using MegaWays™, which debuted in Big Time Gaming’s Dragon Born over three years ago.

Blueprint, another licensee of MegaWays™ has had great success leveraging BTG’s ground breaking IP, and Storm are sure to follow suit with a range of interesting products penned for land-based and online deployment Q1 2019.

MegaWays™ is a random reel modifier system that allows any given spin to produce a different number of symbols across the reels, allowing players to experience a totally different game with every spin. Big Time Gaming has cornered the market with this innovation with games like Bonanza, White Rabbit and Extra Chilli, and will be launching Who Wants to be a Millionaire in November – the most anticipated branded slot launch in history.

Nik Robinson, Big Time Gaming CEO, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how Storm use the MegaWays™ mechanic. Storm has some highly entertaining IP licenses that will work seamlessly with MegaWays™.”

Steve Murray from Storm Gaming, said: “The MegaWays™ concept is remarkable; it provides for and delivers exciting game play on a whole new level. “We shall be using MegaWays™ on new Storm concepts and licensed IP with a number of launches set for the coming months.”


Source: European Gaming Media

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming Industry

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming IndustryReading Time: 1 minute

 

Report shows 9.5 percent increase in economic output; industry now supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide

 

the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new study examining the striking impact the gaming industry has on the U.S. economy – providing stable jobs to nearly two million Americans and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. This is the first comprehensive report on the gaming industry’s national economic impact since 2014.

Oxford Economics’ 2018 study found that the U.S. gaming industry:

  • Contributes $261 billion to the U.S. economy, a 9.5 percent increase since 2014;
  • Supports nearly 1.8 million jobs, up from 1.7 million jobs in 2014; and
  • Generates $40.8 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.

“Gaming companies across the country are enabling long-lasting careers for their employees and making a huge impact on their communities through innovative partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteerism and the generation of revenue that supports critical services. The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”

The research was commissioned by AGA and conducted by Oxford Economics. More information about the study can be viewed here.

About AGA: 

The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.


Source: European Gaming Media

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