Loot Boxes Are Awful, But They're Really Not Gambling

Richard at GameSpew: Loot boxes have changed the way games are designed for the worse, but still, I struggle to see how anyone could seriously class them as gambling.

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ReBurn26d ago

The Battlefront 2 system absolutely is if the contents are random and the chance of winning the big prize is small. To not be gambling games should present a menu of the items and a price for acquiring each item. Take the random aspect away.

trumpwonstopcrying26d ago

It is gambling because you're making a risky bet that buying a loot box will pay off, knowing that they will have minimal returns and you probably won't get the item you want.

Although some may consider it not gambling because you are still getting something in return even if it's complete trash. The difference with casino gambling is that you can walk away with absolutely nothing. In the case of loot boxes though you could also argue that getting complete trash = nothing anyway. And there's no way to get your money back.

Actually I would call up and say my kid bought these without my permission. Charge back FTW

hellothere197725d ago

hmmm, interesting take. so, all casinos need to do to not be clasified as "gambling" is to at least award trash! brilliant!

(casinos near near have free drinks all day, everyday. they should do away with that and have the cups as trash awards.)

Seraphim25d ago

by definition loot boxes are gambling. There is no way around that. The problem lies in that we, as a society have become to view a lenient stance on the word. When in fact what we say isn't gambling in fact is. I personally think it's somewhat of a gray area and understand both sides of the argument. I've dealt blackjack and poker at a Casino for well over a decade. Just because at Casinos you're wagering money on a game of chance for a monetary return is gambling doesn't make that the only form of gambling.

Gambling Defined
the activity or practice of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes.
the act or practice of risking the loss of something important by taking a chance or acting recklessly:"

Playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes. Key words, chance and other stakes. You are putting up money and playing what is essentially a slot machine, RNG, which determines the outcome. Just because you get something every time doesn't mean it's not gambling. People are buying these for those chance items with low probability.

And to further prove this point. The legal definition of gambling

"A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome."

trumpwonstopcrying25d ago (Edited 25d ago )


have you had the free casino drinks before? they're watered down to nothing and take over 20 minutes to get when you're busy gambling and typically losing well more than what the drink is worth. So yes you're getting trash and waiting a long time for it. And they offer domestic beer which is also trash

indysurfn25d ago

Remember folks 85 percent of ALL news 'articles' are PAID FOR.

rainslacker25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

There are some places which classify gambling as anything that you spend money on(or something of value), and the return is unknown, whether it be a complete loss, a return of value less than you put in, or the return on value is greater than put in.

I think lootboxes are a gray area. The return value is kind of subjective, and entirely personal. Some people may consider what they get to be more valuable than someone else does, even though they get the same exact prize for the same price.

I suppose the reality is is that we could find anecdotes and allegories which both show it as gambling, and show it not to be gambling. I feel this is more an issue with the definition of gambling by the rule of law, more so than if these are actually a gamble.


In some states you actually can get around gambling laws by offering a prize of some kind to everyone who plays. Those, "everybody's a winner" type things. In those cases, it's likely that those kinds of things wouldn't be legal in those states without said compensation.

Gambling laws in the US can be as varied as they can among other countries in the world.


Kudos on discerning the difference between the dictionary and legal sense of the word. I think a lot of people don't look at it that way.

What's more pertinent here is the legal definition. While it's easy enough to say it's gambling by the dictionary, it's questionable when looked at on the legal level....and that can vary based on venue.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 25d ago
nitus1025d ago

Here is the definition of 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." Yes you can look up the word in a dictionary and you will more or less get the same result.

No matter how it's spun "loot boxes" are basically "consideration, chance and prize." This is "gambling" although I am quite sure that some will point out that the prize in the case of loot boxes is immaterial so I will also point to US law. https://definitions.uslegal... (pay attention to the first paragraph).

Of course, other countries have their own gambling laws so if you don't live in the US I suggest checking what your countries legal laws are and even these are open to legalize interpretation.

TheSaint25d ago

If it's a game of chance (which it is) it's gambling.

Kornholic26d ago

"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."

Yes they are. Now delete your useless article.

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ninsigma26d ago

Of course they are. You pullbthis handle in a game of slots and you have no idea how the pictures will line up. You open a loot box and you have no idea what's going to come out of them. If you use real world money on a chance of good rewards then it's gambling.

Nightmar3Demom26d ago

When someone purchases a loot box in a game such as Overwatch then yes, you are correct. It isn't gambling because the purchaser knows up front that the purchase will contain cosmetic items only or in other words, the purchaser knows ahead of time that the purchase will not have any affect on game play whatsoever. The purchaser knows that there is absolutely no advantage to be gained by purchasing the loot box

However, in a game like Battlefront 2, that is not the case. In Battlefront 2 there is a chance for an in game advantage. The promise of this potential advantage is like a carrot dangling in front of the rabbit and this is exactly the same perception that a person can have when sitting for hours at a Blackjack table or at slot machine.

You can make the argument that not everyone who goes to a casino is there because they are banking on the big payout and that these people are there simply because they enjoy the game of chance and go there with the intent of spending "X" amount of money as a form of entertainment. But I can also make the argument that for every person that you can name looking for entertainment, I can also name someone who is desperate for the payoff.

The PERCEPTION of getting that in game advantage is what companies like EA are counting on in order to sell the loot boxes. This is in direct contrast to a company like Bungee who are selling loot boxes because people want eye candy.

Yes, both companies hype their loot boxes and create excitement over the idea of the new gun or Christmas outfit but the difference is that I could spend $1,000 on Overwatch loot boxes with you spending $0 and I cannot and will not have any advantage over you if we meet in game. And I know this before I even purchase the game itself. But there is a chance, a perception, that if we exercise the same scenario while playing Battlefront 2, there is a very good chance that I will have an advantage over you.

That perception is my reality

And that absolutely is gambling

CrimsonWing6926d ago

It’s no different than Overwatch. One gives you a chance at cosmetics the other gives you not only a chance at cosmetics, but crafting parts, perks, etc.

You trying to justify Overwatch over Battlefront 2 has to be one of the biggest hypocritical rants I’ve ever read on here.

Nightmar3Demom26d ago

You not understanding what you're reading has to be one of the biggest reasons to increase funding in education

CrimsonWing6926d ago

Nawww my comprehension is just fine.

slate9126d ago

If loot boxes are gambling then buying a pack of yugioh cards is too. I hate em but its not gambling imo.

bigmalky26d ago

You can trade, sell or collect multiples at will. You can't do that with microtransactions.

Try again.

CrimsonWing6926d ago (Edited 26d ago )

When does reselling not make the act of paying for a “chance” to win not gambling?

In a sense of you get duplicate cards in BF2 you automatically sell them for credits... so by your definition it’s not gambling.

If I sold a used scratch off ticket that I bought does that negate it from being gambling?

bigmalky25d ago

I never said it wasn't. I'm pointing out that with card collecting, there is potential value in the stuff you don't want. With micros you can get stuck with shit you will never use and can't resell or trade.

The OP said it wasn't gambling, not me.

Nightmar3Demom25d ago

I'm confused by your argument. Can you even begin to play the game without buying a pack or random set of cards? If you can't, then how is it gambling?

slate9125d ago

Starter decks were present where you would know exactly what you get and how many cards were in there. But if you buy a pack of cards, you get 7 (I think), and at least one will be uncommon. There is a chance of scoring an ultra or secret rare, though. It reminds me of buying these packs in these games. Where you are promised probably one uncommon card with a chance of getting a legendary item.

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