UK Gambling Commission Reaffirms that ‘Loot Boxes Aren’t Gambling’

/ 3 years ago

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The UK Gambling Commission has reaffirmed that loot boxes do not form a part of gambling

Loot boxes and their potential role in gambling has been under scrutiny this year. Put simply, the question of whether loot boxes/crates within games is a form of gambling. If so, should it be subject to gaming laws?

Those who say it is, do have a point. Put simply, you’re paying a price with a hopefully positive outcome. In those very basic terms, it’s no different to betting on a horse. The UK Gaming Commision in a blog post, however, has reaffirmed that it does not consider loot boxes a form of gambling.

The announcement comes following some mixed reports from their Belgian counterparts. It was erroneously reported earlier this week that they had definitely ruled then as a form of gaming. It has since transpired, however, that the matter is still under consideration.

Star Wars Battlefront II Lootboxes Under Investigation in Belgium

A tricky case, but not yet under their jurisdiction

In the blog post, the UK gambling commission concedes that the matter is difficult. They do say, however, that such matters are directed by law set by the government. With no monetary value strictly being set to the items won, it doesn’t fall under current guidelines.

“A key factor in deciding if that line has been crossed is whether in-game items acquired ‘via a game of chance’ can be considered money or money’s worth. In practical terms, this means that where in-game items obtained via loot boxes are confined for use within the game and cannot be cashed out it is unlikely to be caught as a licensable gambling activity. In those cases, our legal powers would not allow us to step in.” 

The commission does, however, concede that loot boxes could potentially be a ‘gateway’ to gambling. It is a matter which has been discussed in the UK parliament and will likely be of further debate in the future.

What do you think? Are loot boxes gambling? If so, to a degree that it should fall under gambling law? – Let us know in the comments!

loot box crate loot boxes

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