Last Thursday, the NBA 2K League banned one of its players after it was found that he was involved in violations of the league’s anti-gambling policies. Heat Check Gaming power forward Basil “24K Dropoff” Rose has been dismissed and completely disqualified from joining of NBA 2K League’s teams after it was discovered that the provided inside information to someone who “was betting on NBA 2K League games.”
Despite this, the league has maintained that the integrity of the games was not compromised stating that “the investigation did not find that Rose attempted to fix or otherwise improperly participate in any NBA 2K League game.”
Betting scandals in the nascent esports industry are nothing new but they are becoming noticeably more rampant as the industry continues to grow. There is also much more scrutiny which means that the potential impact of such scandals can be quite huge.
Adding on To NBA 2K’s Problems
The ban of the NBA 2K player is not the only issue related to gambling that the league has had to deal with in the recent past. It comes just a short while after the launch of NBA 2K20, the new version of the game. This new game has been the subject of a fair amount of controversy. First, the game’s players themselves have been dragging it on social media platforms over a plethora of gameplay issues. Second, even before it was launched 2K Games, the video game’s publisher, released a trailer that advertised the gambling mechanics that are featured in the game – they received significant backlash because of this especially because the game lacks a mature rating.
All these are set to have an impact even on the NBA itself since the pro sports league is pretty deeply involved in NBA 2K. It might turn out to be a very huge headache going forward.
The Loot Box Saga Continues
Meanwhile, Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom have ascertained that loot boxes are too close to being gambling activities and should be banned from children. According to the MPs, any game that contains loot boxes should be clearly labeled “gambling” and then rate for people who are at least 18-years-old.
“Buying a loot box is playing a game of chance and it is high time the gambling laws caught up. We challenge the government to explain why loot boxes should be exempt from the Gambling Act,” reads a section of the report.
According to the parliamentary report that included the aforementioned recommendations, players are spending up to £1,000 a year on video game ‘loot boxes’ and since these games are available to children, it is possible that they too are being subjected to the gambling activities.