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Loot Boxes: Gambling Addictions for Kids

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The Christmas season is almost upon us! The Christmas trees are out, the streets are lined with dazzling Christmas lights. A sense of anticipation and joy can be felt from every person you meet, as we all patiently wait for Father Christmas and his entourage of reindeers, to deliver our festive boxes full of gifts. However this Christmas there is one box that no child or adult, naughty or nice should be getting, Loot Boxes.

A Loot Box is an online purchase that contains randomly generated in game/app items, essentially an online slot machine hidden in a child friendly façade. Many have adopted this business strategy including games like; Candy Crush, FIFA 18, Call Of Duty, Clash of Clans, Over watch etc, games and apps beloved by all, which will be under most Christmas trees come the 25th of December.

The most recent and notorious offender is the brand new Star Wars Battlefront 2, a franchise loved by many, children mostly, has been sullied by the greed of Electronic Arts. They have locked an already £50 game, behind more and more pay walls, that ultimately will cost a whopping £1560 to fully unlock the final game.

This is disgraceful and malevolent business strategy to say the least, as it not only makes people spend extra money on an already expensive game, it bleeds them dry to be able to enjoy the fully immersive experience.

This however is not shared by just children on apps and games, a whopping 62.5% of the UK population gambles according to the Gambling Commission and NHS statistics show that only around 5 percent of people seek help and only 1 percent get treatment for their gambling problem.

If a gambling problem is left to develop, debts can spiral out of control and people can become withdrawn and depressed, which can affect their professional lives and relationships with other people. Gambling preys on the mentally ill as they are the most lucrative and vulnerable. Each year the Gambling Commission reports more and more problem gamblers, with a 1/3 increase from the previous year of 2016.

This is why we have to be worried about loot boxes, they are not only destroying the games/apps that they are forced into, they are creating serious mental health issues within children, that could lead to a downward spiral in their later life. If you feel yourself or a loved one has a gambling addiction, the NHS has a National Problem Gambling Clinic which their details will be below. Equally there is GamCare which has a Helpline, Netline and Forum for people with Gambling problems alike. Their details can also be found below.

So this Christmas season, wrap up warm, stick on your favourite Christmas film, pour some mulled wine with some mince pies and have a Merry Christmas from everyone at Service Care!
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