Coronavirus: The gamers spending thousands on loot boxes – BBC News

By Adam Clarkson
Reporter, BBC Radio Tees

Publishedduration12 hours agoimage copyrightBen Lawson-Greenimage captionBen Lawson-Green said loot boxes were like gambling

Gamers have spent thousands of pounds on so-called loot boxes during the pandemic, with experts warning the issue has become "really stark".

The NHS Northern Gambling Service said welfare problems for young gamers had been exacerbated by people having time on their hands during lockdown.

Loot boxes see players spend money for the chance to unlock items that would help them in the course of the game.

The government said it was reviewing to see if they were a form of gambling.

Ben Lawson-Green, 25, from Whitby, said: "Over the years me, my brother and dad have spent thousands.

"I normally put money on Fifa on a Saturday night. Before you know it, you've put £50 or £60 on. I find it incredibly addictive because I always want the best players.

"I wouldn't say it's a problem. I guess when you're spending a lot of money on it it could become a problem.

"Is it gambling? I would say it is. It's just like pressing buttons on a slot machine. It's always 'what if?'."