Two separate bills on gambling laws are due to be published in the coming weeks as popular YouTubers, with millions of followers, have come under fire for promoting controversial games linked to young people gambling.

'Mystery boxes' or 'loot boxes', which appear in video games, prompt players to spend money in exchange for random in-game purchases.

US-based YouTuber Jake Paul, who has nearly 18 million subscribers to his channel, is among a number of influencers under fire for promoting the mystery box website called Mystery Brand to his followers.

Irish YouTuber Sean Connolly explains: "You pay a certain amount to open a virtual box, which essentially is just clicking something the website promises that you'll get. 

"You could win a car up to a quarter of a million dollars or you could win a house or something like that."

"They promise that it's easy when in actual fact for the most part you'll win a pair of headphones or a phone case or something. The cost of the boxes is sometimes a few hundred dollars."

There are concerns that these boxes are promoting gambling behaviour to young children. 

Jack Deacon spokesperson for youth organisation Spunout.ie said: "Our view would be that it's much more gambling in nature than maybe the spokespeople from the company might admit. 

"In terms of other loot box subscription based companies that you pay a monthly fee to and they deliver loot boxes to your door, these mystery boxes seem to be much more gambling in nature in terms of the fact that you can buy multiple boxes at once and  the fact that they are tiered in pricing from a very low amount to a very high amount. 

"Studies have shown that in Ireland in terms of young people becoming addicted to gambling they are at a much higher risks than adults because of online gambling - because it's so accessible nowadays."

The company at the centre of this controversy did not respond to questions from RTÉ but in a statement to the BBC Mystery Brand said its service is "not comparable to gambling".

Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party Martin Heydon said the Gambing Control Bill and changes to the Gaming and Lotteries Act will be published in the coming weeks and will address a number of issues in relation to gambling in Ireland.

"I have great concern that there is research that says the thrill of opening these loot boxes or virtual boxes is akin to the same as somebody would get when they scratch a scratch card that little bot of excitement.

"That's a very dangerous thing for a 10,11 or 12 year old to become accustomed to. 

"Different countries have taken a different approaches, some see this as a form of gambling, some see it as an e-commerce activity and that's a decision that still finally has to be made by Government here as to whether we deal with this as a form of gambling or not."

"Ultimately, what the Gambling Control Bill that we are bringing forward will do it will establish an independent regulatory authority - this is very important we need an independent ombudsman for all things gaming and gambling because the technology is changing so quickly."

Children at a CoderDojo Class in Dún Laoghaire in Co Dublin this week spoke about their experiences.

Katie Brady, nine, from Dublin said: "Sometimes I could see advertisements for toys or AIB bank, I've never come across loot boxes but I've read about them in the Times."

Fionan Ó Ceallaigh, 15, from Cabinteely in Co Dublin said: "I've come across a few lately with some popular YouTubers having sponsored with these companies that are offering insane prices like mansions and these big cars for boxes that cost €15 and then you find out later they are exploiting their fans for big amounts of money."