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It Is Time That We Start Referring to Loot Boxes as Gambling

We clearly live in a world where gambling is regulated by laws in every single country but, for some crazy reason, it is not regulated in the game industry.

The game industry is flooded with loot boxes that are presented as something fun. You invest a small amount of money to open a box, the box will contain something that is insanely valuable or something that has zero value whatsoever. The latter outcome is more probable. Sounds familiar?

There are numerous violations here, a great example is the CS: GO Lotto case where two popular YouTubers ProSyndicate and TmarTn promoted the CS: GO lotto website by opening loot boxes and getting huge value out of them. What they didn’t tell the audience is that the website is owned by them and the draws were rigged, to begin with. They got away with no fine and by that, it basically means these two never did anything wrong. What was the end result? The whole drama brought the duo even more followers and the CS: GO lotto website is up and running with even more “fans”.

Another “loot box” story broke out when the shady website G2A implemented a section on the website where you purchase a loot box and get a random game in return. Popular YouTuber Jim Sterling addressed this issue by pointing out the stupidity of the loot box system and got mocked and thanked at the same time by G2A on Twitter.

 

 

As seen in these two examples, addressing this issue will bring even more customers and more people who are ready to lose their money on gambling. It seems that the gaming industry is a great loophole that is being exploited over and over and no one has a problem with it.

How is it not ok for an underaged kid to play roulette or slot machines online but it’s perfectly fine for that same kid to spend money on boxes that have the exact same effect. If an item that the user receives has any monetary value it has to be considered gambling.

Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as “the stakes”) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements be present: consideration, chance and prize. The outcome of the wager is often immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are also common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or even an entire sports season.

Wikipedia

I think that no further explanation is needed, but I do think that it is time for authorities to take this matter seriously and prevent any further damage. The loot box system has no place in the gaming community, it should be regulated and kept far away from underaged children.

17 comments
  1. Unfortunately the gaming media like eurogamer, ign, et al, receive their vast income from the status quo. Never forget that these sites consider the publishers as their customer and us the product. This is why “reviews” carefully avoid letting the consumer know about serious bugs, performance issues and other problems; the publishers will complain and threaten to stop advertising on them. It is the editor’s job to ensure that this does not happen. This is not a new problem, it’s been going on since the pulp magazines published in the 1980s.

    Paul on September 15 | Reply
    • That sounds like Gamergate talk. Are you a harassing misogynist???

      Steve Dorn on September 15 | Reply
      • Found the incel.

        Mei Checking In on September 15 | Reply
  2. I would’ve thought of loot boxes more akin to Magic The Gathering packs than gambling, like in Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm.

    Wieldofrost on September 15 | Reply
    • mtg packs are gambling too at their core

      Les Adla on September 15 | Reply
    • They are, technically. But the only reason card games got away with their form of pseudo-gambling is because, well, it technically isn’t gambling since A. you’re not getting money, and B. it’s extremely difficult to argue what the official, legally recognized difference in value between a legendary and a common item is.

      That and it’s card games, which were mostly shrugged off as stupid kids fluff. Even the Trading Card companies didn’t expect them to explode in popularity like they did. Now it’s video game’s turn, and once again nobody cares because “It’s just Cosmetic!”.

      Daniel on September 18 | Reply
  3. The problem I have with this article is how they said you’ll get nothing of value. You also get something in all the game loot games I play. In gambling there is a chance to lose it all. Overwatch you might get a duplicate, but you get in game currenncy for duplicates. Thus thats not a zero value, you literally get currency to buy stuff with. Lots of games do this. Even the skins you sell in csgo is worth currency.

    So saying you get zero value, especially most of the time is false. I don’t see it as gambling. I’m always getting something. You don’t always win in slots.

    Miguel Munoz on September 15 | Reply
    • Let’s not that pretend that spending two and a half dollars to get a skin worth five cents isn’t close enough to getting nothing.

      q on September 15 | Reply
    • You’re obviously part of the problem.

      Bexnxn on September 16 | Reply
  4. This article is blatantly incorrect and proves the author has no idea what he’s talking about. Crates are controlled by valve and while i agree that they are gambling, the argument that ProSyndicate and TmarTn profited by opening loot boxes is complete fallacy.

    “Two popular YouTubers ProSyndicate and TmarTn promoted the CS: GO lotto website by opening loot boxes and getting huge value out of them. What they didn’t tell the audience is that the website is owned by them and the draws were rigged, to begin with.”

    ProSyndicate and TmarTn owned a lottery website that operated like roulette. you give your skins to a bot, the website spins the roulette wheel and if you win, you get the in game items of everyone else playing that round. Because this is website controlled, ProSyndicate and TmarTn were able to make the rolls end on them whenever they were streaming and garnering themselves more views, more ad impressions and ultimately more people on their site to win meaning they got more of the “cut” that the website took from every pot.

    Chuu on September 16 | Reply
    • “This article is blatantly incorrect and proves the author has no idea what he’s talking about. Crates are controlled by valve and while i agree that they are gambling, the argument that ProSyndicate and TmarTn profited by opening loot boxes is complete fallacy. ”
      You’re somewhat mistaken there, friend.

      Yes, games like CS:GO have lootbox systems that only Valve (or the appropriate developer) have any control over.

      But the sites run by ProSyndicate ALSO had their own lootbox systems that THEY controlled, so they could rig the results of any lootboxed from their own site that they opened.

      Daniel on September 18 | Reply
  5. It’s time to stop being anti-capitalist cucks.

    Assy Mcgee on September 16 | Reply
  6. In the US (at least), the industry around casino games is called the “gaming industry” and the industry around card/board/video games is the “games industry”. Might be worth revising the wording because the gaming industry is very much involved in gambling; that’s their core business!

    James Ribe on September 16 | Reply
    • Thanks for the heads-up, will change that right away.

      4TheGamers on September 16 | Reply
  7. […] View Full Post […]

  8. […] https://beyond-gaming.net/2017/09/14/time-start-referring-loot-boxes-gambling/ […]

  9. […] the last ones to turn to this model but the industry is changing obviously. Get ready for some more gambling in the years to […]

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