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A Washington state senator has loot boxes in his sights

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If you thought loot box controversy was a phenomenon exclusive to late 2017, then don't hold your breath. Not only are loot boxes likely to become more ubiquitous, but so will the debates surrounding them. With analysts in Australia and ministers in Belgium recently concerned with whether they constitute gambling or not, now it's the turn of Washington state.

The person responsible is senator Kevin Ranker, who has this month introduced a bill to determine whether loot boxes can be defined as gambling and, if so, how they can be regulated. Speaking to the News Tribute, Ranker was explicit regarding his concerns.

“What the bill says is, ‘Industry, state: sit down to figure out the best way to regulate this,’” he said. “It is unacceptable to be targeting our children with predatory gambling masked in a game with dancing bunnies or something.”

Washington isn't the first state in the USA to address loot boxes: a Hawaii state legislator, Chris Lee, recently released a video which described loot boxes as "predatory practices", while later laying out plans for how to eradicate them. Whatever the case, the entirety of Ranker's bill can be perused over here (pdf)

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.