UK Doesn't Think Loot Boxes Are Gambling, But Thinks They're Something

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor November 27, 2017
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Hey, where have we heard something that sounds like that headline before? Anyway, the loot box regulation saga continues apace over the weekend and now it's the UK Gambling Commission offering its two cents -- which wouldn't be nearly enough to buy a loot box in most games.

On the commission's site is a piece titled simply "Loot boxes within video games." It states that while loot boxes are probably not technically gambling, because you can't receive money for the bits you get out of them, they're still not safe from scrutiny:

Where a product does not meet that test to be classed as gambling but could potentially cause harm to children, parents will undoubtedly expect proper protections to be put in place by those that create, sell and regulate those products.

Exactly how long it will be until these "proper protections" are put into place in the UK (and elsewhere) is anyone's guess. But it's getting nearly impossible to believe that they won't come.

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In this article: Loot Boxes.

About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (4)

NameGoesHere 3 years ago
"you can’t receive money for the bits you get out of them"

LUL... so does this mean all games with RMAH type auction house are Gambling and needs to be shut down? Cause you're using real money to "bid/ buy" in-game items. Especially when some items tends to be "unidentified in boxes" IE: Loot Boxes.

And you technically do already USE real money to obtain said Loot Boxes, do they think ppls don't use real money to buy Loot Boxes or what?

a 3 years ago
when businessmen take over gaming... microtransactions,lootboxes,p2w and all kinds of other schemes to steal ur money... this isnt gaming anymore

SAD 3 years ago
Not surprised that the UK thinks it's not gambling since they are trying very hard to leave the European Union and trying to make trade deals with the USA and they technically cant while they are with the European Union. Part of me feels like the UK want's to become the European counterpart of the USA and have low quality food and give huge tax cuts to the rich and ignore the middle class and get rid of environmental laws and ect.

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