Loot Boxes: What Are They And Why They Are Considered Gambling

Loot boxes have been a craze in the most popular video games for quite some time now. With its growing popularity, more and more gambling-governing agencies and bodies have been calling for loot boxes to be officially considered as gambling and therefore regulated as well.

This means that purchasing loot boxes is considered to be on the same concept as playing on online casino apps such as 888sport mobile. To better understand what loot boxes are, here are some of the tops things you should know about it.

 What are loot boxes?

Loot boxes are pretty much similar to mystery boxes that you can buy on popular online shopping platforms like Amazon or eBay. There are items a player can purchase through the in-game microtransactions for a specific price.

Some loot boxes are priced using in-game currency. This means that players can obtain these loot boxes by “farming” or grinding on the game for more resources. However, some games make these loot boxes purchasable only through real money–either by making players purchase premium in-game currency with their money (in-game currency that they cannot obtain through farming or grinding), or directly with real money.

Loot boxes are offered to players with the expectation that they have the chance to get a supposedly premium item for every purchase. As compared to actually buying said item individually, taking the chance on loot boxes appears cheaper, most of the times. However, the catch is that the chances of getting a premium item is low, and getting “commons” is actually higher. In the end, most loot box purchases end up with more common in-game items than premium ones.

How do you win an item through loot boxes?

Getting an item or a set of items from a loot box is as simple as purchasing one and opening it. However, how does it actually work? How is a player given a set of items for every purchase made? The answer is that loot boxes are controlled by a popular algorithm called the random number generator, or RNG.

RNG makes loot boxes work in a way that there is a set specific percentage of each item appearing in every roll or purchase. For example, a common item may have an 80% chance of dropping while a premium item only has a 20% chance. This means that the algorithm is programmed to give out random results for every roll with the set chance for each dropped already specified. This means that there is no specific pattern that a player can take note of to make them win better items with every purchase–everything is random and nothing is set in stone.

However, there are still players who believe that some games are rigged to give out lousy loot box rewards to some players, and sound drops for specific players. Some say that the system sometimes favors those who have already spent a huge amount of money on the game, in order for them to be attracted to spend more on it. All of these, however, remain to be just “conspiracy theories,” and have not been proven so far.

What makes loot boxes gambling?

If you carefully think about it, loot boxes are similar to most forms of gambling. You can actually compare it to a slot machine game. In a slot game, the player pulls the handle to get the wheel rolling and based on the pattern or icons it will stop on, the player either loses, wins, or wins the big jackpot.

In loot boxes, the system also works in the same manner. The player first “pulls the slot” by purchasing the lot box, then waits for the “result of the spin” by opening the loot box, and finally getting his result of a loss (getting common and mostly useless items) or a win (getting premium items). This is the reason why governing-bodies for gambling want to have loot box purchases considered as gambling–so people can be protected from abuse or misuse of it.


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