UKGC Reaffirms Statement: Loot Boxes Aren’t Gambling

UKGC Reaffirms Statement: Loot Boxes Aren’t Gambling

Lately, there’s been plenty of debate about loot boxes being considered a form of gambling, but according to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), they aren’t.

Loot boxes, also known as loot crates or prize crates, are consumable virtual items in video games that can be purchased with in-game credits a player has either earned through gameplay or by purchasing these credits with real money.

While there’s been growing concern over this controversial game feature, the situation really heated up with the release of EA’s highly anticipated video game Star Wars: Battlefront II. The game essentially all but required players to purchase in-game currency to buy loot crates to able to play as the most popular characters.

This sparked outrage around the world, particularly in Belgium, where Belgium’s Minister of Justice Koen Geens said he believed loot boxes should be banned and that he would also be pushing for a Europe-wide ban.

However, according to a recent post published on the official UKGC website, the UK gambling regulator reiterated that in-game features, like loot boxes, are not a part of its jurisdiction, because, as the regulator stated back in 2016, it’s not gambling.

In-game feature don’t have any real-world value

The one-page post, which was written by UKGC Executive Director Tim Miller, states that because in-game features do not have any value in the real world, it isn’t considered gambling.

The difference between traditional gambling and buying a loot crate is, when a player buys casino credits and uses them to play the slots, for example, any winnings they withdraw can be used in the real world. This activity falls under the umbrella of the UKGC’s regulations.

Purchasing in-game credits to buy a loot box, on the other hand, isn’t gambling, even though the value of a prize isn’t always equal to the amount of money spent and is determined at random. This is because the prize received cannot be traded or used outside of the confines of the game, so it’s not gambling in a traditional sense.

Still, although loot boxes may not be considered gambling at the moment, if this should change in the years to come, regulators, including the UKGC, may be required to change current regulations.

About The Author

As both a player and a fan of strategy analysis in the area of online gambling, my goal is to share the latest information and news about online casinos and the games that they offer. My background was originally in writing guidebooks for the individual games, as well as for tournaments, but after a decade of that, I chose to expand my experience to writing honest, objective, and helpful articles.

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