It’s an argument that’s been at the forefront of the gaming world for the past couple years, are loot boxes gambling and should these mechanics be allowed in games where children easily can have access to them along with their parent’s money? Well, today the UK government has said no, even though children have emptied out their parents’ bank accounts and even though it has been proven that some of these mechanics prey on the addictive personalities of some people. They are not considered gambling by the UK government.
Because of the prizes that are inside the loot boxes are not monetary, and you cannot sell them in any official way, the Gambling Commission has stated that these do not meet their qualifications for gambling for the current Legislation. Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McCarthur has this to say (Via BBC);
There are other examples of things that look and feel like gambling that legislation tells you are not – [such as] some prize competitions but because they have free play or free entry they are not gambling… but they are a lot like a lottery,
This comes as a surprise to most since back in 2018 the Belgium gambling commission banned loot boxes themselves since they actually violated the Belgium commissions legislation and are considered gambling. Even if the contents of the boxes have no real cash value, the Belgium commission has coined these as “Skin Betting” since most of these boxes have moved to only cosmetic changes. Even in America, the ESRB has been having a hard time trying to classify what kind of problem loot boxes can be. Constantly going back and forth on whether they are or are not gambling.
Even though companies like EA and Blizzard might consider this a win, they still had to sit in front of a gambling commission and they still have put a lot of governmental eyes on this issue, and there might soon be bigger repercussions and regulations coming in the future if this issue persists.
A professional wrestler since 2007, I’m trying my hand at the wonderful world of journalism after getting a dual associate degree in Journalism and Criminal Justice. When I’m not writing about video games or entertaining crowds I can be found reading my favorite books and watching movies.