You might already be very familiar with loot boxes and how they can help you in particular games. They’re popular in several huge games such as Call of Duty, League of Legends and several other one of major role-playing games. Recently, with the growing crackdown on gambling, loot boxes have made their way into the public eye.
Currently, there’s a raging debate surrounding whether loot boxes are fair and how legal they are. On top of that, there’s a growing commentary on whether they promote gambling addiction, particularly when it comes to players who are underage.
With loot boxes now under scrutiny, we’re taking a look at them in relation to gambling. Will they be banned? Are they akin to gambling or not? Read on to find out about all this and more.
What Are Loot Boxes?
Loot boxes or loot crates are mystery boxes that you can buy when playing these video games. When you buy these boxes, you do not have any idea what is in them. But, you must buy them with real money or the currency from the game.
These types of boxes were created as part of randomized loot drops that were popular in early games of this type. They gained more popularity with players as they gave out large rewards to the player during these role-playing games. Essentially, loot boxes are simply that part of the iGaming industry where game providers can reap a lot of extra money. In fact, this part of the industry generates billions of dollars.
Are Loot Boxes Illegal?
Now, the problem with loot boxes is that, arguably, they come under the heading of gambling. And the legality of gambling is a complex subject as it differs depending on the country. Unfortunately, the same thing applies to determining whether loot boxes are legal or not.
Generally, each country does have a pretty firm point of view when it comes to this aspect of gaming. For instance, in Belgium, loot boxes became illegal in 2018. However, other countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden, still continue to allow the use of loot boxes. That being said, these two countries are beginning their investigations into the legality of this type of player reward.
Since 2018, a further 16 European countries have agreed to look into the role of loot crates as a form of online gambling. However, currently, only one of these 16 has come to a conclusion. And that conclusion came from Poland who determined loot boxes are not a form of gambling. So, at this time, the legality of loot boxes is still very much up in the air.
Loot Boxes Are Gambling
Loot boxes have been around for years, but there’s been an increase in awareness for those with problem gambling issues. And this is where loot boxes have hit the headlines. As these games are not monitored in the same way as online casinos, they are often played by children. This has led to an increase of addictive tendencies toward loot boxes from underage players as well as adults playing these games.
After much debate in the UK, it was determined that purchasing loot boxes for real money, was the same as gambling. With this set-out, it appears that the government agrees that they should be regulated as games of chance under the gambling act.
There’s also debate about loot boxes in Latin America there are reports from Brazil where the National Association of Child and Adolescent Defense Centers suggested to ban the commerce of loot boxes in the country. In Argentina, South Americas second largest country, there’s also an ongoing debate about several issues related to this matter. According to casinoonlineargentina.com.ar new regulations is to be expected.
Loot Boxes Are Not Gambling
However, there are arguments against loot boxes being gambling. In the same government debate, it was also put forth that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. This was determined because the contents within a loot box are randomized. Players earn them (or buy them), and they are used only for success within the game. With this definition, loot boxes are not deemed to be betting.
It was also argued that there hasn’t been enough evidence to suggest this type of in-game option was even harmful to children. With that in mind, if you intend to purchase them, you will need to check out your specific country regulations.
Are Loot Boxes Going to Be Banned?
At this point in time, it is unlikely that loot boxes will be banned in their entirety. However, what is likely is that there will be stricter regulations in place. Of course, some countries have banned them already so if you’re in one of these countries, it’s up to you to decide if accessing loot boxes is worth it.
However, there is likely to be a bigger crackdown across the world as responsible gambling is now a highly addressed topic. The idea here is to allow players to have fun, but remain safe while they do so, and loot boxes threaten that.
For the time being though, they’re still legal. Check back with us to see if and when anything changes.