Singapore to regulate loot boxes in online video games

Singapore has introduced a new central body that will oversee a wide range of gambling services, including loot boxes in online video games. The recently inaugurated central organ will follow the latest global trends. In particular, it will be able to more competently counter future gaming products. The central body is called GRA (Gambling Regulatory Authority).

The GRA will regulate the gaming services accessible in lotteries and casinos. Also, it will monitor gambling services like sports betting, as well as loot boxes that appear in online video games. The entry of the GRA will reinforce the line between gaming and gambling. Video and mobile games have recently come under fire for encouraging violence and gambling.

Singapore to regulate gambling services

To recap, the Indian government again banned BGMI without disclosing any reason. The game’s predecessor, PUBG, was banned in the country in 2020 in a bid to protect user data. Today, Singapore is preparing to regulate online gambling. The GRA will replace the Casino Regulatory Authority, pursuant to a report by The Straits Times. Singapore’s second Home Minister, Josephine Teo, says this is a milestone for gambling regulation.

Inauguration ceremony of the GRA in Singapore

Moreover, Teo pointed out that the landscape will not be the same in five years. Thus, the formation of the GRA will strengthen the regulation of gambling in the country. Additionally, Teo noted that people can play anytime and anywhere thanks to advancements in technology. As a result, online gambling has more room to maneuver and grow. Additionally, she confirmed that there will be a price cap of SGD 100 on Mystery Boxes. This cap could come into force in Singapore by 2023.

As a reminder, this capping system is an original idea of ​​the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs). Singapore aims to block the incentive effect of exclusive items through the cap. Moreover, the cap will prevent the game from gaining popularity among young people. It will be interesting to see if this move helps Singapore prevent the game from tightening its grip on the country. Additionally, regulating loot boxes in online video games could have an undesirable effect.

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Carolyn M. Daniel