Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the Federal Government’s dangerous reforms to the National Classification Scheme.
“The fact that the Government intends to only introduce a classification of M for computer games containing paid loot boxes is absurd,” Mr Wilkie said. “To pay to participate in a game of chance with the possibility of a reward is gambling by any definition and should be banned for people under the age of 18.”
“By rating games containing loot boxes as M, children aged between 15 and 18 will continue to be exposed to harmful gambling simulators, with it being likely that people younger than 15 will be able to access them given how easy it is for anyone to purchase a M-rated product.
“Research shows that the largest cohort of people gambling online are 18 to 24-year-old males. And with the way loot boxes entice players to keep coming back for desirable items, it’s obvious that young people who are spending a lot of money on these games are being groomed for future gambling.
“The Government needs to support my Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Loot Boxes) Bill 2022, if it wants to be serious on this issue and protect young people from gambling like features in video games. My Bill requires the Classification Board to classify any game with loot boxes as R18+ or RC. Moreover it requires clear labelling to be present so parents and guardians know when their children are exposed to these features.”