New Loot Box Bill Introduced ...Again

Monday, April 30, 2018

Baker McKenzie, Lexology (USA)

The worldwide loot box controversy continues. After the Dutch and Belgian Gambling Authorities announced enforcement action on loot boxes this week and the week before, a new loot box bill was introduced in Minnesota, USA this week. The bill joins other state level legislative efforts in the USA which were introduced since the global loot box debate peaked in the second half of 2017. This short summary describes the most notable political and regulatory reactions to loot boxes in the USA so far, including the newly introduced Minnesota bill.

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IV.      Bill by Californian Assembly Member Dr. Bill Quirk

On February 12, 2018, Californian Assembly Member Dr. Bill Quirk introduced a bill (AB 2194) which would require a manufacturer of a video game that is sold in California and includes the opportunity to engage in a microtransaction, as defined, within the video game to provide a clear disclosure that the video game includes the opportunity to engage in a microtransaction on the physical box the video game is sold in. Under the bill, a violation of this provision would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation. The legislative process is still ongoing. 

Quirk stated: “Gaming has become an essential part of California’s entertainment economy. I am happy to join other legislators from across our nation in addressing this issue by making sure California does its part to protect consumers in creating a more transparent process in how information is shared by manufacturers regarding video-game microtransactions”.