Loot Boxes – Gambling?

Loot boxes are an essential part of the games we love. We buy them in hopes for a snazzy new skin for our character and weapons, for in game currency, or for extra add-ons such as sprays and voicelines. It seems as though every time we open up one of these bad boys, we feel like we got played. Spending money to just receive all non-rare items or duplicate of items we already have–but when you do get that item you want, it makes your spending seem all worth it.

Recently, the Minister of Justice of Belgium had an investigation done on how exactly close purchasing and in-game loot box is to gambling. They had come to the conclusion that games such as Overwatch, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and FIFA 18, all of which have loot boxes available for purchase, are allowing minors the ability to gamble. How exactly does one come to the conclusion that loot boxes are equivalent to gambling? The Belgium government’s reasoning behind it is because players are purchasing them without prior knowledge of the content they are holding.

The Minister of Justice stated that the publishers must get rid of loot boxes and if they do not comply, they could face up to five years in prison or fines up to 800,000 euros. Keep in mind, when minors are involved, the punishments may be doubled. Whether this means that the games will have heavy revision on their loot box system, have a verification system to make sure all buyers of loot boxes are of age, or getting rid of loot boxes altogether is still a mystery.

As of now, it seems as though only Belgium and Holland have taken a stance against the loot box industries in their own ways. The United Kingdom and the United States of America allow the companies to continue their loot boxes as the usually would.

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Originally apart of Prestige Gaming as a Quality Assurance Advisor, Vincent joined EGO in May 2018 following the community merge. He is currently the Divisional Leader of Media Team.