Loot boxes have been in controversy for many years since its introduction to the gaming industry. It has gained the attention of players and analysts alike, in New Zealand and the world. Loot boxes are the video gaming version of bubble gum cards. You can buy the boxes while gaming, and you would not know the item you will get. While it seems like a fun and exciting feature, many critics are stating that it opens the door for young children to gamble.
Is Loot Boxes a Gambling Activity?
If you would think it is pokies that are keeping up the gambling researching awake at night, you might be close to the truth. It is something else that costs a lot of money and can set players back a few hundred bucks. According to many gambling analysts and experts, it is loot boxes. These loot boxes are a digital container that has randomized rewards. It is mostly purchasable with real cash in many popular video games that are available for young players around the world, and in New Zealand. So if you have a gaming console or a computer that is connected to the internet, you can access the stores of many games that offer such boxes.
One might think that it is just commerce, as players pay money in exchange for a service or a product. On the other hand, there is more to the issue. Loot boxes are becoming a growing and worrisome issue for parents and gamers. The reason behind that is the belief that it opens up a world of gambling to the youth. The main reason is that the outcome of the loot box is entirely random, just like gambling. You can get a new map, a powerful weapon, a new clothing item, or anything else that gives an in-game advantage.
According to the Telegraph newspaper, players around the world spent more than $60 billion in 2018 on loot boxes. According to a study by the Royal Society Open Science journal, loot boxes either cause problem gambling behavior or allow gaming companies to profit from adolescents who have a gambling problem.
The main problem is that some of these games allow players to cash the winnings from these boxes. One out of about five games gives players the ability to turn the winnings into real money. Most of them are through 3rd party websites, so the gaming publisher does not wholly control them.
Countries Battling the Video Gaming Feature
Some countries like the Netherland and Belgium banned the feature, stating that it violated the local gambling law. When it comes to New Zealand, the decision is in the hand of the Department of Internal Affairs. On the other hand, the department stated before that loot boxes do not meet the definition of “gambling” as per the New Zealand Gambling Act 2003.