Video games are huge business these days. No longer do you just buy a game and you are then able to play all of the content that you please. Gamers in the modern age are constantly evolving with developers making changes and adding all sorts of new features.
Many of these features will have to be bought by the player base through the likes of DLCs or annual subscriptions. There are event in-game loot boxes that players will buy to be in with a chance of earning some sought after in-game items. In some quarters, there are concerns about the gambling elements that are involved with these types of video game mechanics.
Loot boxes are a unique way that video game players can get in-game items like weapons and skins. These are different from outright buying a specific item. As the results of the loot boxes are randomized, you never know what you are going to get with a given spin. There will be different chance rates associated with different items. For example, the rarer or more sought-after items will be harder to get through these random draws.
Some games will only offer loot box items that are aesthetic, such as costumes and weapon skins, while others will directly affect the gameplay, such as different weapons. Some of the leading games that have extensive in-game items available for purchasing include the likes of Fortnite and Dota 2.
According to casinonotongamstop.com, a lot of gambling awareness groups across the world have been raising concerns in recent years about the gambling elements of loot boxes. Research has shown that the process of opening the random prize crates is similar to the thrill that someone gets when they spin a slot machine.
The anticipation with each loot box opening is that you are going to get items that will have a higher monetary value than what you initially paid for the box. There are certain games whereby you can take the in-game items and sell them on a marketplace for real money.
Another area of video games that is getting exposure to the gambling space is that of esports. As professional video gaming takes off, there is naturally going to be betting interest that comes along with it.
All major traditional sports will be available to bet on through leading sports betting sites. Therefore, most of the major platforms these days offer some sort of esports betting due to the growing level of demand. As well as traditional sports betting sites, there is also esports betting taking place where in-game items are used as the stakes. This means that tradable items instead of cash are being used. Some games that have this as a popular way to place bets include CS:GO and Dota 2.
The rules and regulations regarding online gambling in the UK are constantly changing. As the space continues to evolve and change at a rapid pace, the likes of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) are doing everything in their power to make sure that gamblers are kept protected. They also want to make sure that at-risk people, such as underage kids are not getting exposed to pro-gambling messages.
Some of the restrictions that the UKGC has put into place in more recent times include spin timers, bans on credit card gambling, as well as strict deposit limits. GamStop is a non-profit group that is working closely with the UKGC to help protect people who are already struggling with gambling. It allows players to self-exclude from every single UKGC-licensed site in one go. This is non-reversible and can be put into place for up to three years.
Due to a lot of restrictions coming into place, there has been a strong movement in recent times of people starting to look at non-GamStop casinos. These are platforms that do not fall under the scope of the UKGC. This means that there is going to be a lot more freedom on offer to players. They get access to higher betting limits, more payment options, bigger game libraries, and more lucrative promotions.
The UKGC is also looking closely at the likes of loot boxes in games, particularly those titles that are allowed to be played by people who are younger than 18 years old. They are currently looking at updating legislation to bring it into a more modern age, dealing with modern phenomena like loot boxes.
There are some characteristics of loot boxes that make them similar to gambling, while there are also aspects that are not very similar. They do provide the player with a random chance to win, with different items having different values. This means that they can be possibly addictive to certain people.
However, some of the ways that they are not similar include that you will not be acquiring real money or a physical asset and that they are often seen to be a fun part of a game rather than a method to out and out gamble.
Loot boxes are a key part of many of the leading video games in the world today. Authorities globally are now considering whether these features are similar to gambling or if they are okay.
There is no simple answer to this question, which is why a lot of countries are taking vastly different approaches than one another. There is the constant question of where the balance lies between fun and chance and gambling when it comes to loot boxes.