Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content


Lootboxes: Advice to the Gambling Commission from ABSG

ABSG has given advice to the Gambling Commission in regards to lootboxes. This advice outlines what lootboxes are, concerns around them, and how to protect consumers.


Loot boxes have a strong association with gambling harms – and children perceive their use as gambling. Current evidence suggests a link with harm to consumers now – as well as the potential for young people to suffer harm in the future as a result of early engagement in behaviour that, from their perspective, feels like gambling. ABSG recommends public policy action based on evidence of harm in the present, as well as the precautionary principle because of the concern about the potential for future harm to children.

Further research on actual levels of spending, and other industry held data, would bring greater transparency and understanding of patterns and trends amongst children and young people.

ABSG recognise the complexity of blurred lines between gambling, gaming, and online retail. This challenge will not be best met by simply amending the definition of gambling to capture lootboxes. A cross-government approach to online harms is required. For this to be successful it will need a clearly defined policy framework, with clear roles for regulators including Ofcom, trading standards, the gambling Commission, the Advertising Standards Agency, and others.

Previous section
International approaches - Lootboxes: Advice to the Gambling Commission from ABSG
Next section
Annex A: Links to Recent Research with abstract summaries on key conclusions
Is this page useful?
Back to top