A recent GambleAware report has shown that those who tend to spend more money on loot boxes are at increased risk of developing a future gambling problem.
GambleAware is an independent network situated within the UK that aims to reduce gambling harm to British citizens. They work with the UK Gambling Commission to deliver national strategies that seek to reduce gambling harm. With this, the charity also funds BeGambleAware which remains the information and helpline service for UK gamblers who feel they need to reach out.
As the charity seeks to collect information about gambling and the public for the Gambling Commission, it regularly produces reports consisting of raw data about gambling in the UK.
Recently, the charity commissioned a report with the University of Plymouth and the University of Wolverhampton to examine the relationship between loot boxes and problem gambling. The research conducted six surveys consisting of 7,771 loot box purchasers and found that around 5% of participants spent more than £70 on loot boxes each month. Surprisingly, this 5% generates half of loot box revenue because they spend so much.
The UK loot box market is currently expected to sit at around £700m.
The GambleAware report also published that it is primarily young males – aged 18-24 – who regularly purchase loot boxes. This demographic is considered ‘at risk’ when it comes to problem gambling and it is these individuals who make disproportionate contributions to loot box revenues. Higher-volume players also showed higher risks of problem gambling in the future.
The researchers suggest that more must be done to keep loot boxes as transparent as possible – including odds disclosures and real money pricing. Affiliates should familiarise themselves with this report and be mindful of future loot box marketing.