When it comes to the state of loot boxes whether they are gambling or not. The real money value and the tradability to the items is where some people think that the loot box system is broken and establishes gambling. As the video game; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the most popular in the loot box genre where most gun and knife skins are sold for a lot of Steam currency depending on the rarity and condition on the skin.
Third-party betting sites were made to output real money or increase the value by betting on higher value items and professional tournaments. The controversy that was made is developers of the game do not profit and therefore cannot regulate these sites that aren’t controlled on their platform.
For the majority of the countries around the globe for example Belgium and Netherlands said that some, not all, loot boxes did violate their gambling laws but there was no strong loot box law passed in either countries. It stated that these games were in violation of existing laws, but it would be too expensive and tedious to pursue such tight matter like this.
While the law around the video game loot boxes argument is that there is no such thing as an empty loot box, as the game you’re playing will always pay out with either a common or rare item as with real casino games like Blackjack and slot machines can give you nothing in return, which ultimately leaves you losing the game. The concept of a loot box is to always have the player getting something with their money.
What’s tricky is the real money factor of the game – most game developers are now moving away from having game items tradeable for either other items of the games content or real-life money. While you can still use real money to put into the games own currency to then buy what you wish, whether it be skins or the loot boxes themselves. For an example; new release Apex Legends distributed by EA and incorporates this type of system and online currency.
To compare both online games to real casino games and other gambling games is difficult. There’s no losing with a loot box, but events like the Grand National for example has a losing factor – the horse could fall down, or even lose. Obviously, you would go into the Grand National with more knowledge than just betting on any horse, getting Grand National help or any type of tips in that area of betting will always give you an understanding on how the game works in more detailed. Whereas loot boxes are pretty straight forward, as you’re only opening the selected case and know what you could get.
The future with law in this area is always slow and sluggish as most countries are leaving the loot box system in a legal grey area. Around 15 regulators from the Europe and the US have been assembled to look further into the issue to see what can be solved about the situation.