The Office of Responsible Gambling has a number of research projects underway as part of our Research Program 2019-2020. Our research program aligns with and progresses the RGF Research Agenda 2018-2021 and includes grant-funded projects.

Grant funded research projects

Detailed below are completed research projects that have received Responsible Gambling Fund funding support.

Researcher: CQUniversity

This report outlines research aimed at understanding the risks posed by loot boxes to adolescents (12-17) and young adults (18-24) in NSW. Loot boxes are a growing concern due to the risk and reward properties that closely align them with traditional gambling, the potential for encouraging greater gambling involvement, and the potential for associated gambling harm.

Broadly, this research revealed:

  • Loot boxes are common in the best-selling video games. CQUniversity's exploration included a selection of 82 best selling video games and revealed 62% (51) had loot boxes.
  • In the survey sample, almost all of the respondents played at least one video game with loot boxes within the last 12 months (93.2%).
  • About a third (32.9%) of the survey respondents who played games with loot boxes within the last 12 months had also purchased a loot box, and their median monthly expenditure was $50 for adolescents and $72 for young adults.
  • Compared to other purchasers, young adults who more recently first purchased loot boxes were more likely to have gambling problems. Conversely, there was no evidence that earlier experiences with loot boxes predict later gambling problems.
  • Both adolescents and young adults who had either opened, bought or sold loot boxes within the last 12 months were also more likely to have:
    1. gambled in the last 12 months (young adults),
    2. gambled more frequently (young adults),
    3. spent more money gambling (young adults),
    4. suffered more gambling problems (adolescents and young adults),
    5. suffered more gambling-related harm (young adults), and
    6. endorsed more positive attitudes towards gambling (adolescents and young adults).

Read the report Loot Boxes: Are they grooming youth for gambling? on the CQUniversity website here.