New PEGI Rules Will Earn Games An 18+ Rating If They Teach Gambling

PEGI, the board responsible for rating European game releases, is set to rate any title that teaches players how to gamble as “18+” [via TheGamer].

Fallout new vegas gambling PEGI
Credit: Bethesda

According to a report by Ask About Games, PEGI has been rating games with gambling mechanics as 18+ since 2020. However, while some games released before then will retain their assigned age ratings, any new releases with mechanics or content that teaches gambling habits will have PEGI’s new guidelines applied.

So, what does this mean for games like FIFA that use loot boxes? Well, while using randomised gacha style mechanics is considered controversial, whether or not they’re gambling is still a grey area. Therefore, games that opt to use loot boxes might not be rated the same way as something that explicitly features gambling.


Caveats and controversy

Even if a game does feature something related to gambling, it could avoid being branded as for adults if it was released before the new rules. While most games that feature gambling themes, like Fallout: New Vegas and Red Dead Redemption, are already 18 rated, other titles with lighter references to the practice could avoid the new rules if re-released or remastered. Again, just like the loot box situation, this is still something of a grey area. So, we’ll need to wait for some remasters and remakes to come along before we know how the PEGI rules will work in practice.

poker in rust
Credit: Facepunch Studios

PEGI’s new rules should help safeguard players from the dangers of gambling and addiction. However, whether or not the policies will help eradicate exploitative mechanics within games remains to be seen. Of course, the legality of loot boxes is still being debated, so meaningful change could still be around the corner. Fingers crossed!

How do you feel about the new PEGI gambling rules? Join the conversation on our social media channels!


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Featured Image Credit: Rockstar/PEGI