According to an article from the BBC, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McCarthur says that, under current legislation, video game loot boxes aren’t classified as gambling.
The UK gambling watchdog has told MPs that, at the present moment in time, it doesn’t oversee the purchase of in-game content, such as video game loot boxes.
The watchdog says that it’s because there’s no ‘official way’ to monetise what’s inside them.
In order for something to be classified under gambling legislation in the UK, a prize must either be money or have some sort of monetary value.
Speaking at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee, McCarthur admitted that there were indeed “significant concerns” about children playing video games that contain things such as loot boxes or pay-to-win mechanics.
Despite these concerns, loot boxes in video games still aren’t – and for the foreseeable future, won’t be – classified as gambling.
“There are other examples of things that look and feel like gambling that legislation tells you are not – [such as] some prize competitions but because they have free play or free entry they are not gambling… but they are a lot like a lottery.” he said.
The hearing took place the day before the Diamond Casino & Resort opened in GTA V. The implementation of an in-game casino into GTA V raised several concerns about the topic of in-game gambling.