Do “loot boxes” in online games constitute gambling?

David Clifton is quoted in a Gambling Compliance article entitled “Fresh Loot Box Controversy Sparks Regulator Investigations”.

In the article (that can be downloaded below), David:

  • expresses the view that the Gambling Commission is unlikely to move against loot boxes in the near future, but may become more inclined to take action as in-game items are increasingly exchanged for money or money’s worth outside games.
  • is quoted as saying “I think the regulatory focus will increase on what can be traded or exchanged for money or money’s worth outside a game because, if it is shown that such transactions can easily be conducted and there exists an overt relationship between the facilities for gambling and the means of exchanging items for cash, the commission is likely to regard the statutory definition of playing a game of chance for a prize as definitely kicking in” , and
  • adds that: “the Commission has become even more committed to taking all such proactive action as may be required to ensure protection of under 18 year olds and the vulnerable” with the consequence that it is more likely to be motivated by cases where children are being directly targeted.