The Democratic State Representative for Hawaii, Chris Lee, has submitted several proposed bills to regulate the use of loot boxes in games. Two pairs of bills have been submitted to the US Senate and House last month.
House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024 will aim to ban the sale of any game featuring loot boxes, or any type of electronic gambling systems where players use real money to purchase randomized rewards, to anyone under the age of 21. The other pair of bills, House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025, will require game publishers to clearly label games featuring loot boxes and disclose their probability drop rates.
Chris Lee, who hails from Oahu, said that he grew up playing games, as well as watching the industry evolve from one that creates new things to one that exploits people to maximize profits. Speaking to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, he mentions that the industry would have to change its practices if enough of the market reacts. He further adds that there is no authority currently regulating the industry although it is worth $30 billion and arguably bigger than Hollywood.
According to Chris Lee (via VG247), more than half of the states in the US are pursuing the similar forms of legislation for loot boxes. However, the bills have a long way to go before being passed. A committee has to make adjustments to the proposed bills and the amended versions are sent to the House to be voted on. If they pass, they will then go to the Senate, where another committee examines the bills before being voted on again. After that, a third committee comprising of both House and Senate members will agree on one version of each bill, which will be sent back to the House and Senate for approval. Finally, the President has the final say on either to sign or veto the bill within ten days.
We reported recently that Germany could be moving to ban loot boxes and we also did a feature on loot boxes last year when the controversy surrounding loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront 2 was raging everywhere.