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The ESA Determines that Loot Boxes Are Not Considered Gambling

November 22, 2017Written by Elizabeth Henges

loot box investigation

Hot on the news of Belgium’s decision involving loot boxes and Hawaii launching an investigation on EA regarding their loot box practices, the Entertainment Software Association has released their own statement regarding the micro-transactions. The statement given to The Rolling Stone essentially says they do not think loot boxes are gambling. This is in opposition to Belgium’s decision yesterday.

Here is the ESA’s full statement from The Rolling Stone:

“Loot boxes are a voluntary feature in certain video games that provide players with another way to obtain virtual items that can be used to enhance their in-game experiences. They are not gambling. Depending on the game design, some loot boxes are earned and others can be purchased. In some games, they have elements that help a player progress through the video game. In others, they are optional features and are not required to progress or succeed in the game. In both cases, the gamer makes the decision.”

Belgium’s decision, on the other hand, are more concerned about children falling victim to gambling traps than gamers as a whole:

“The mixing of money and addiction is gambling,” the Gaming Commission declared. Belgium’s Minister of Justice Koen Geens also weighed in, saying, “Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.”

The ESA’s statement matches the ESRB’s statement regarding loot boxes, who considers them optional game features and are something gamers don’t have to pay for and use.

What is your opinion regarding loot boxes?

[Source: The Rolling Stone]