Gamers, parents, and industry encouraged to have their say on gambling in computer games
Australians are being invited to have their say on the classification of computer games that feature gambling-like content, with consultation opening today on updates to the classification guidelines.
The consultation follows the Albanese Government’s recent announcement of proposed improvements to the National Classification Scheme (the Scheme), including new mandatory minimum classifications for games with gambling-like features.
These proposed changes would see a classification of R 18+ (Restricted to adults aged 18 and over) for games which contain simulated gambling and M (Mature – not recommended for persons under 15) for computer games containing loot boxes that can be purchased or other in-game purchases linked to chance.
The changes would also insert new definitions around ‘In-Game purchases linked to elements of chance’, ‘Loot Box’, ‘Real world currency’ and ‘Simulated Gambling’.
The new minimum classifications seek to address community concerns around gambling-like features in computer games and recent research which reveals an association between both loot boxes and simulated gambling and harms such as problem gambling.
Following the consultation period, the Minister will work with state and territory governments, as co-partners in the Scheme, to finalise the proposed new guidelines.
These changes are progressing while the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts explores options for more comprehensive reform of the Scheme, informed by recommendations from the recently released Stevens Review, academic research, along with industry and community feedback.
Submissions on the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games 2023 will close on 7 June 2023.
For more information, or to make a submission, visit https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/proposed-new-mandatory-minimum-classifications-gambling-content-computer-games
For more information on the Government’s classification reforms, read the Media Release.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“We know from the Stevens Review that the National Classification Scheme is in need of reform. Our first priority is addressing the classification of gambling-like content in computer games.
“While we understand gaming is a form of relaxation and entertainment for many, it is import we have regulatory measures in place that minimise potential harms, especially to children.
“We want to hear from the community so that we can strike a balance that will allow people to continue to enjoy chance-based elements in computer games, without the risk of exposure to material that may harm them.
“The Government has embarked on an ambitious reform agenda which, with the support of state and territory governments, will result in a classification system that better meets the needs of Australians in our increasingly digital media environment.”