What Does It Really Mean to Gamble?

Overwatch Loot Box

With a lot of talk these days about Loot Boxes in video games I have started to question what some people think gambling really is. So today I have been talking a look at what the word means and what the difference between these loot boxes and certain slot game…

First, let’s understand what a loot box is. according to Wikipedia it is a: consumable virtual item which can be redeemed to receive a randomised selection of further virtual items, ranging from simple customization options for a player’s avatar or character to game-changing equipment such as weapons and armor.

So, to put it simply it is a virtual box what offers a random prize to the winner with higher odds being for the rarer, better prizes. But this HAS NOT been classed as gambling by various agencies all over the world, with most of them saying “…they do not meet the definition of gambling.”

So what is the definition of gambling? Wiki Says: “Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value 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. Wikipedia”

So let us take that last part because it breaks the term ‘gambling’ down into chunks.

  • Consideration
  • Chance
  • Prize

Looking at this list of thing you might be wondering why these ‘loot boxes’ are not considered gambling! This biggest excuse is apparently they don’t feature any money prize meaning they are not gambling, but a “prize” is something of value that you might not get because it is a gamble! Does a gamble really have to consist of money prize? No, not at all and many people do see loot boxes as a form of gambling, but clearly not everyone. Is this really just blind-siding so the gaming industry can make more money, or do people really think it isn’t gambling? Maybe they think there is kids gambling (for prizes) and adults gambling (for money). It’s a conundrum that is for sure and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below…




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