Top Games

Singapore Readies Loot Box Regulatory Body

Overwatch helped push loot boxes to prominence, but has since abandoned the mechanic.
Overwatch helped push loot boxes to prominence, but has since abandoned the mechanic. / Courtesy of Blizzard, via Overwatch-Archive

Singapore has established a new regulatory body to govern gambling in the country, including the sale of loot boxes, The Straits Times reports.

The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) will take over from the pre-existing Casino Regulatory Authority, which oversaw Singapore's two integrated resorts, and will sport a wider mandate to regulate gambling. Casinos, lotteries, sports betting and loot boxes all fall under the new body's remit.

Josephine Teo, Singapore's Second Minister for Home Affairs, said the GRA's widened scope was vital as gaming and gambling continue to converge.

"There are more and more variants of gaming, gambling and games of chance, such as those involving cryptocurrencies or using crypto technology," she said at the GRA's inauguration ceremony.

One of the GRA's first actions will be to institute a $100 prize cap on loot boxes enacted as early as next year.

"The cap will prevent the inducement effect of high-value items and the normalization of gambling among youth," said a GRA spokesperson.

Games are increasingly shying away from loot boxes as regulators worldwide scrutinize the practice. Belgium and the Netherlands' anti-loot box laws convinced Blizzard to skip a Diablo Immortal release in both countries. It also halted sales of loot boxes in the country, as did Nintendo and Konami, and has confirmed Diablo 4 will launch without loot boxes.