Loot boxes were popularized through their inclusion in several games throughout the mid-2010s. Some games, for example, Star Wars Battlefront II expanded approaches that caused them to be criticized internationally. This criticism included a pay to win game system, which encouraged gamers to microtransactions and spend real-world money. Loot boxes have begun to be regulated by national gambling commissions due to concerns that they may become a source of gambling.
Belgium and the Netherlands case
The first and loudest case took place in the Netherlands. The local gambling commission explored the system of loot boxes and compared microtransactions to the Netherlands ‘ gambling laws. Four games containing the loot box system: FIFA 18, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Star Wars Battlefront II have been considered as a form of gambling.
Following that, Belgium conducted research on the same games and the state was the same. The Commission in Belgium also called for the ban to be extended throughout the European Union, explaining that “Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of children”.
After these two cases, more countries started checking the loot boxes system. If it comes to the United Kingdom, their gambling commission stands that boxes confined to in-game use that cannot readily be “cashed out” do not fall under UK gambling law.
China found an interesting solution by announcing legislation obligated video game companies to reveal the draw probability of all virtual items and services, a variety of statistics being released which quantified the odds of Chinese players receiving different categories of item from each loot box, some of which were as low as 0.1%. Other changes included from the game publishers to limit the amount of loot boxes purchases any gamer can purchase each day.
In Japan, after the success and controversy around the gacha model in 2011, when the whole system became recognized as a form of gambling the legislation system doesn’t change at all.
United States statement
There is no law targeting the loot box system in the United States, however, there was interest around gambling in 2016. Court has ruled that gambling with virtual game currency within video games is not illegal until it doesn’t engage real-world money. It may be mainly because most states don’t define gambling laws based on receiving something valuable, and virtual items in games can’t be considered as a profitable gadget in reality.
Different approaches for loot boxes mainly depend on the law regulations in each country. People’s own approach is defined by the old cases related to the accusations of gambling and reckless use of loot boxes. However, in CoinsLoot we see things in different ways. The entertainment which is given by opening loot boxes might be used to create a strong and original platform based on the Blockchain technology. Thanks to the use of no loss guarantee system we can ensure full security and build the trust that the content of each box is always valuable and satisfying.