Are lootboxes gambling? Australian inquiry



Seems like you’re suggesting that loot boxes in online games are okay because these crane machines exist…

There’s numerous differences. Let’s start with: game of chance versus game of skill.


Isn’t this a game of skill aswell? Also chance with the board?
I don’t gamble never have! loot boxes iv never heard of before till recently, Personally I don’t care how people spend there money! if underage people can use it then that is a problem!
Comes down to Your own choice if you do soo!

The two components of the game you cited are certainly a combination of skill and luck, much like a crane game.

What we are discussing is the summoning portal - aka Loot boxes. They’re not at all skill based obviously.

It’s an unnecessary component of the game from a gameplay perspective. What it does do is monetize the game.

Loot boxes are a useful monetization strategy throughout games. Part of the global issue with loot boxes is that they either are contributing to an increase in gambling problems (problem gamblers) or profiting by creating easily accessible opportunities for problem gamblers to spend their money.


There always going to be problems with gambling! Think @Rigs did say something like if you problems with alcohol don’t go to the bar and other things that vices your pleasure if you want to quit! I used to be a drug addict but if someone offers me stuff now! For free I’ll still consider it! As I know the next day I’ll be ok and won’t go looking for it again! Maybe I have a stronger mind now! Can see the trap people can fall in to younger people but adults :woman_shrugging:

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Absolutely great for you to be in a place with your disease where you feel that confident! That’s great and a testament to your willpower.

Now - let me pose a scenario to you.

E&P is a pretty fun game right? So what if while playing E&P, every day when you logged in there was an offer for your specific drug of choice. $10. $20. Occasional special offers…

Now, there will 100% be people who say “oh no thank you, DRUG is not for me!”

But there might be other people, not so familiar with DRUG, who don’t know they’re gonna have a problem with DRUG, who suddenly have constant immediate access to it.

Replace DRUG with gambling, and this is the concern. To some people, gambling is a drug. Some people are easily addicted to gambling. Some people are irresponsible with their gambling. Whatever you want to call it. Science says that gambling addiction is similar to drug and alcohol addiction.

If this is the case, then you know ultimately the individual must be responsible for themselves, however, you can imagine what would happen if people could turn on their phone and get a hit of crack, or a shot of tequila. It wouldn’t take long until we had a society of addicts.

Do we want a world full of problem gamblers? Because that’s one thing that loot boxes are doing. (In addition to making SG rich and giving the crew here a fun escape)



The report also asks "If lootbox are not gambling, are they STILL harmful ( see below for F2P ).


It reminds me of the progress from Gypsy cabs to Cab medallions to Uber. From flop house to motel to AirBnB. From slums to building codes to tiny houses.

Things cause problems with no regulation, then too much regulation then no regulation.

Where there is consumer spending, companies will keep finding ways to capture that spending.


Government regulation may also be necessary because a company that voluntarily institutes change will be at a huge disadvantage in the marketplace were being Top 10 is its own marketing draw.

F2P and lootbox

One interesting point in the report is by building a game around lootbox mechanisms, you may make the gaming experience more grindy for F2P to increase profits.

Players without the money to gamble on loot boxes, may instead harm their real world life by excessive grinding to compete with lootboxes.

Grinding in Empires

This can be seen with HotM ( Epic Hero Tokens ) and 4* ascension items when grinding for chests and grinding for battle items for titans.


The report also says saying 1.5% chance of a 5* hero is terrible because probability is difficult. In game currencies make this worse. So disclosure of odds has had zero effect on lootbox spending.

Instead each result should list the 99% chance in the players currency. So Delilah would list the $X in USD to get 99% chance.

This would also encourage the ability to outright purchase a hero.

Transparency and Control

It took me a whole day to find out my family had spend on Empires.

The report says real currency spent should be easier to discover and parental controls should allow hard limits on daily, weekly and monthly spending.

Kinder eggs

Interesting details on the Kinder egg discussion of the report.

Kinder eggs are

often bought for physical currency
counting out a stack of paper money helps convey the amount spent

bought for real currency
Easier to track spending

limited supply per store
This often happens with collectibles, harder to drop huge amounts of money

require physical exertion per transaction
going to the store and buying them ( report did not discuss online shopping).

Have a physical volume
Some friends who spent a lot on Magic The Gathering had to pick up the pallet at the warehouse

New frontier

Cars were loud, and polluting, but solved problems with horse disease and horse dropping in the city.

IAP are replacing fixed price games.

My grandparents drove a lot with no speed limits. But their cars had a top speed of 35 mph and were loud.

Electric cars and hybrids make no noise below 10 mph, so many include noisemakers to worn pedestrians.

Many school zones have temporary speed limits when students are arriving or departing.

Like faster, quieter cars, everyone agrees IAP is here to stay. But how we deal with the problems they create for F2P, and spenders, will have to be addressed by the industry and the government.


This game is a casino.this is well known.the problem is the customers.if the customers dont buy the casino will change politics eventualy.if the customer spends 1000euros for a digital card thats ok but the same practice will go on

I totally agree! But I could easy call 3 people to get a fix! From my phone! Who can get to me the quickest!? It’s a dangerous place for people, as I can’t recall who said (sorry) it but spending real cash at a store for this game is different then pushing the button on your phone! I get everyone is different but you still make the choice!


Hands down the most insightful and spot on post I’ve read here.

Kudos sir. Well written and well said.

Do you know a lot of casinos that are struggling to make money…? Blaming the patrons is easy, I think that’s why so many are quick to do it.

Also totally absolving loot boxes and the companies employing them seems very questionable to me. I think your mentality boils down to “I don’t have a problem with loot boxes so no one else should.” … but the world isn’t that simple. And just because you don’t have a direct problem with something doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem.

  • I have stated that LOOTBOXES don’t constitute gambling because the result ALWAYS gives an ITEM.

  • Gambling is when you have a chance at getting NOTHING AT ALL and usually a bigger chance at nothing than a win, Every single LOTTO and LOTTERIES player in the world is an ADDICTED GAMBLER and they don’t even realise it, lol.

  • May this question now finally, LOL.

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I see what you’re saying.

Making a phone call is ALMOST as easy as an IAP. I get it. Definitely a lot closer than going to a store.

One thing I’ll point out is - the ‘drug’ in this scenario is wrapped up in an honest to god fun game. A game that appeals to a wide audience. A really well designed game.

That’s mentioned in the OP and to me an important part. People start playing this game for the game, then they start spending because it’s right there and they legit love the game. It’s a hop skip and a jump to a gambling problem.

I can’t give a pass to loot boxes just because individuals shoulder the ultimate responsibility. (They do!). Loot boxes are TOO accessible, and imho too dangerous.


No no no!of course i have a major and moral problem with loot boxes u misunderstood my words.BUT yes i blame the customers too.If the ppl dont buy the product(i dont mean only this product) the company will change practice because otherwise they ll go bankrupt.but i hate loot boxes

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… of at least zero value - see @Rook’s post above.

Receiving a commonplace or duplicate item is akin to receiving nothing


Maybe you should read the article in the OP LOL

Edit: for your convenience:


I have an opinion. but I’m going to bed right now. Please keep it civil so that this topic will remain open, so that I can read it tomorrow and formulate my opinion, without the thread being closed. :grin:

Edit: (I came across the other thread too late. Staff had closed it before I could reply)


@Oriontron @rigs this thread has surprisingly been quite civil so far.

Let’s see if we can get bonus points for the next 8 hrs


I agree with this sentiment but these games are stupidly lucrative. I don’t think expecting a change in consumer behavior is going to result in a (in my opinion) needed change.

So I’m hoping for some other (government) intervention :slight_smile:


LOL it’s not about the value, the POINT IS your getting an item in return for EVERY SINGLE turn…the value of the item has absolutely no consequences what so ever and will never ever play as a bargaining chip in any legal system on lootboxes.

People are totally arguing about the wrong thing here if your going to include the value of each return in the mix.

Then what your saying is lootboxes should only give each player an item once and remove it from the options on your next pull…LOL, YEA RIGHT! never gonna happen in anyone’s life time.

Personally I would be turning my attention to solve gambling habbits at (as stated above) the lottery agencies as they create more daily GAMBLERS world wide on a daily to weekly bases AND YET no one seems to give that a second thought.

That’s what cracks me up the most when I read the crap that is written here about lootboxes, lol.

ALL online video games have no monetary value or return what so ever other than to provide ENTERTAINMENT to it’s users… ANY AND ALL kinds of spending is personal choice only with full odds of returns posted.
Does one go back to the lottery agency’s and co plain because they didn’t get anything and yet you back every week happly buying tickets for a CHANCE OF one in a trillion chance of hitting a jackpot,lol.

I suggest you read the report, and at least the screenshot in the OP before we discuss further.

It has everything to do with value and hooking consumers in for one more bite of the elusive cherry


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