ESRB Says Buying 'Loot Boxes' Is Not Gambling Despite Huge Similarities

ESRB Says Buying 'Loot Boxes' Is Not Gambling Despite Huge Similarities

Only a handful of Asian nations have classed loot boxes as gambling, though the United States has considered legislating skin gambling: an industry fueled by loot box buys. That doesn't mean much in digital environments like Steam, where ESRB ratings are effectively irrelevant, but in the world of regular retail, it's the kiss of death. If a guarantee of in-game content is what differentiates loot boxes from gambling, what about when you open up a box and find nothing new in it?

Skin gambling is not prohibited as a betting activity and loot boxes can be traded within video games.

Whether you get one item, multiple items, have to pay to open it, or have the option pay for as many loot boxes as you want, there's one constant: What you receive is nearly always completely random. In a statement to Kotaku, the ESRB clarified their position on loot boxes... We think of it as a similar principle to collectable card games: sometimes you'll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you've had your eye on for a while. These loot box systems have been used for years in games like Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Team Fortress 2.

Because the player always received something, it was likened to buying collectible cards, where some packs will contain more valuable cards than others. Most North American retailers, including Walmart and GameSpot, won't carry AO games, meaning a lot of big games would essentially be banned from sale if the ESRB decided loot boxes constitute gambling.

PFAW Response to McConnell Comments on Changing Blue Slip Process
That, in turn, makes it easier for Trump to advance nominees in states that do not have any Democratic Senate representation. Grassley has so far been reluctant to end the blue-slip tradition, even as past judiciary panel chairmen, including Sen.

A glaring issue has been pointed out by the gaming community. If you are truly against loot boxes in games, you are free to exercise your right to not buy a title with them.

Games which include a loot box element need a gambling license, and the industry is closely regulated.

A system of trading has therefore developed, with players using third party gambling sites to pit their own skins against those of other players, or of the site itself.

It's an important distinction, because as the ESRB ratings guide page explains, one of the criteria for the AO (Adults Only) rating is "gambling with real currency". There's a chance to get something you really want, and people may keep throwing money at the game until they get it, just like they would when hoping for a slot machine jackpot. Loot boxes are an entirely different beast.

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