Campaign launched by SAF founder to better regulate loot boxes in the UK

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Callum ‘Cal’ Dornan, the CEO and founder of UK-based esports and content organisation, SAF, has launched a campaign to better regulate loot boxes in the UK.

Cal is hoping to properly prevent under 18s from gaining access to in-game paid-for loot boxes – which usually contain a mix of mystery items for a real money fee – and also for a spending cap to be implemented.

With players not knowing what they will get from a loot box, there is an excitement around the possibility of getting something rare and valuable in-game.

Loot boxes are prevalent in many games today, from weapon cases in Counter-Strike 2 to chests in League of Legends, football player packs in EA FC and more. Some are obtainable by in-game currency which can be earnt by playing the game, and some can be bought for real money.

The news comes almost five years after a DCMS Committee recommended the UK Government ban the sale of loot boxes to children.

Last summer, the UK games industry/trade body Ukie agreed on 11 principles and guidance to restrict the sale of loot boxes to minors, after the Government said the industry ‘needs to do more’ to protect children and adults from the harms associated with loot boxes.

And Cal from SAF now believes more can be done.

‘We need to break the cycle of addiction’ – SAF Cal launches loot box campaign

“I firmly believe that loot boxes should be classed as gambling and fall under gambling regulations,” said Callum ‘Cal’ Dornan, CEO and founder of UK-based esports and content organisation SAF, in the below video. “That means children under the age of 18 should not have access to loot boxes.

“I’m not trying to move loot boxes completely. There are a lot of people that enjoy them and it’d be a shame to take that joy away from them. The problem we have is we’re exposing people to gambling mechanisms. There’s scientific evidence that show that loot boxes can be a gateway to other forms of gambling.

“I think we should be protecting people from experiencing anything like this before the age of 18, so I’m asking the UK Government to create legislation that means under 18s could no longer have access to loot boxes.

“I also think there should be a cap on what people can spend on loot boxes. There is no way of getting the money you put into loot boxes out again. By introducing a limit on what someone can spend, it’ll help protect vulnerable people in our society and stop people getting into financial distress. We need to break the cycle of when someone who’s addicted to FC Points is spending a lot of money in one sitting, so they can reset and reevaluate.

“This isn’t a war on EA or people having fun. This is about protecting young people and those who are most vulnerable in our society.”

Callum ‘Cal’ Dornan, SAF

Cal said that it’s not about going to war with game developers, but better enforcing guidance ‘which clearly hasn’t been adopted or followed’, to protect the young and vulnerable. He called on the community to share his video to spread awareness of the campaign.

“I’m not trying to destroy EA or any other game developer, and I’m not trying to create hate against content creators who open packs,” he added. “We need to do this campaign together to force change.”

Esports News UK has reached out to Ukie and the Government for comment on the campaign, and will update this article if we hear back.

Further content: Cal followed the above comments with another video going into more detail around loot boxes.

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