Daily Star

Call to axe gaming ‘bets’

- ■ by NADEEM BADSHAH nadeem.badshah@dailystar.co.uk

KIDS are losing millions of pounds a year gambling in video games.

They get hooked on “loot boxes” in hits such as Fortnite and Fifa which offer the chance of character, weapon and skill upgrades for cash.

But campaigner­s who handed a dossier to Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday say the boxes are a form of gambling and should be banned.

Half of 11 to 18-year-olds bought a loot box recently and the average spend on in-game content per person was £500 to £600 per year, says the Safer Online Gambling Group.

Around 95% use gaming apps on their mobile phone or tablet and one are thought to have accidental­ly money on in-app purchases.

Adam Bradford, SOGG’s director, said: “It is simply absurd that young people who are not even of legal age to place a bet are being exposed to gambling content and insidious addictive gaming.”

MPs are preparing a report into links between gaming and gambling.

Charles Ritchie, of charity Gambling with Lives, said: “We are not prohibitio­nists but gambling is no longer a bet on the horses or a weekly lottery ticket.” in 10 spent the

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