US Democratic Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang has set his sight on tackling gambling issues in the country. In a recently published a policy paper titled, ‘Regulating Technology Firms in the 21st Century,’ Yang urged for new gambling laws.
What does his gambling policy entail?
The paper was published on his campaign website, where he asked the US policymakers to refresh their understanding of technology and create better laws that could tackle emerging problems in the sector. In the paper, he was especially critical of loot boxes and classified them as gambling. He wrote,
“Loot boxes are impacting our children, causing them to spend more time and money on these video games, without many parents being aware of their existence.”
He said that loot boxes resemble gambling and use the same mechanism of a random outcome that is found in some gambling products. The idea of a new random outcome could keep players, especially kids hooked on to the platform, and may even cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. He also called out some games that have a “free-to-play” model that allows users to play for free but charge them for the purchase of loot boxes.
How should the government address the issue?
Yang wants the government to create a Department of Technology and resurrect the Office of Technology Assessment, which was scrapped off in the 90s. They could be useful in advising policymakers and regulating the industry. He also called for specific regulation of loot boxes, which increases transparency and imposes limits on overspending.
The Presidential candidate also said that free-to-play games must be monitored so that they don’t exploit kids with the loot box sales. While his ideas are interesting and lead the industry in the right direction, their implementation could be a headache for the authorities.