Authorities wonder if videogame loot boxes are gambling

Loot boxes have been commonplace in gaming for several years now, but it was Electronic Arts' use of them in Star Wars Battlefront 2 that prompted concern.


NSFW    HAWAII / BELGIUM — Authorities in Belgium and the U.S. state of Hawaii are investigating whether a common video game feature called loot boxes are gambling.

Loot boxes are virtual containers earned or purchased while playing a videogame. They typically contain a randomized assortment of virtual items aimed at enhancing the player's experience and in-game abilities.

Because of the elements of chance and money involved, Belgian and Hawaiian authorities are concerned the practice may expose minors to gambling.

According to the Telegraph, Hawaii state representative Chris Lee wants to put legislation in place to protect minors from the practice. The U.S. island state is currently investigating gaming publisher Electronic Arts for "predatory practices" against minors due to its use of loot boxes in their game Star Wars Battlefront 2.

According to the Brisbane Times, an regulatory analyst for the state of Victoria in Australia said loot boxes do constitute gambling, but are difficult to regulate.
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