The Hawaii state legislature is now considering two sets of bills that would regulate games containing randomized in-game item purchases—commonly known as loot boxes—much like casino games, barring minors from purchase and requiring odds disclosures and public warnings.
House Bill 2686 and its accompanying Senate version would prohibit retailers (including those that operate online) from selling games that include "a system of further purchasing a randomized reward or rewards" to anyone under 21 years of age.
Many US retailers already prevent children under 17 from buying games rated "M for Mature" or "AO for Adults Only" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
Those voluntary restrictions don't have the force of law, though, and a landmark 2011 Supreme court decision overturned state laws that attempted such content-based age restrictions on First Amendment grounds.
Hawaii's House bill 2727, meanwhile, would require game publishers to publicly disclose the odds of obtaining specific items from randomized loot boxes in their games.
Apple already imposes a similar requirement on games in its iOS App Store, as does a 2017 Chinese law.