Are lootboxes gambling? Australian inquiry

If there is regulation instead of banning there are plenty of ways LB could work out. Like having a guaranteed hero or hero level and leave the rest of rewards to be randomized. There isn’t much time left really, I believe next year we will see a lot of progress on such initiatives. Belgium took the lead already:

The Belgium example

So what would gaming in the UK look like if loot boxes were banned? One of its European neighbors can shed a little light on the situation, after loot boxes were made illegal in Belgium in 2018.

Loot boxes that require unlocking with real-world money have been given the boot by the Belgium Gaming Commission with games now needing a gambling license if they wish to include them, and there are potentially large fines and/or prison time for those that break the law.

The news was met with a mixed reaction at the time, with the magazine WIRED reporting that some games stopped selling their products in the country, while EA eventually made their loot boxes in FIFA Ultimate Team unlockable only through game-play points.

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Silly question but I thought I saw a Belgian alliance in the forum search - so there are Belgian players on E and P despite LB being banned in Belgium? Or SG got a licence.

Thought I had read it may be a Brussels thing only

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That’s a good question, but a Belgian alliance could be formed anywhere, with nationals of that country logging in elsewhere. I doubt SG would go for their gambling license, I am familiar with their regulation framework and it is brutal. Not worth a risk for a small territory.

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I would presume so. I guess since their law states lootboxes purchased with real money and E&P’s lootboxes are purchased with gems bought but not specifically asigned to lootboxes that it might be having a hard time with enforcing/banning it.

I mean yes there is a fine line there for sure but in all honesty we are not using money in this game we are using gems which can be obtained for free within the game which can be used as you please giving you total free will with your options, with an option to purchase more gems which could just as easily be used for avatars, filling storages, extra flags, etc etc thus thereis absolutely no aspect of the game forcing you to use those gems for lootboxes as it even offers free tokens and coins to allow you added chances at summonses.

So really it isn’t SG’s (in this case) fault that users CHOOSE to or feel they NEED to use all those gems on continous summonses or other lootboxes options.

What there is in the game though that isn’t a lootbox and does require you to spend actual money to purchase is the specials which offer you ascersion items, tickets, tokens, etc etc and yes gems.

Again yes all fine lines but still personal choice options.

Would be i interesting though to know if E&P is or isn’t allowed there.

And this is the underlying reason for lootbox complaints which is not getting (in this case) the hero you want, if everyone got the hero or item they wanted this discussion would never EVER had existed.

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Bro, that’s not how the real world works. Trust me, I work in the gambling industry and if Belgium requires a gambling license that means that EP is not in Belgium under any capacity. I assure you any Belgian players will be playing from another territory cause there is no way SG will be as silly to risk a 1 million USD fine or the likes. The whole thing with gems that can be purchased IS what everyone is looking at when referring to loot boxes; the whole “people buy with gems” defense does not hold water for any European regulator, you have no idea how vicious these bodies are, I’ve been dealing with them for a decade now.

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I think some of you who think a addiction is ok and its your responsibility as a adult to police yourself or children need to go work in a homeless shelter for a week or so and see what addictions including gambling has done to people and their families. It disgusts me to no end, but i guess whatever floats your boat. :pensive:


I wish I could quote you whenever I heard someone on the forum make some kind of snide remark about consenting (addicted) adults making pulls of their ‘free will’ and that we are being nannies when we want to police gambling

Well said

I guess the question for me is how do you define addicted?

How much do you need to spend on the game to be considered addicted (in a harmful sense) as defined by a mental health professional?

For example even I know that I am addicted but when do I know it’s to a harmful extent?

We all use the term in a joking way but when does addiction become harmful?


It is some times now that various country/authorities asking themselfs this question. It’s obvious that the line is not clearly defined and not an unanimous consensus reached.

Those who work in this industry take advantage of that, of course. Why not?
A game like Empire and puzzle, that let’s face it, is a silly game that require minimum effort to build it, can monetize much more of console and pc games that don’t have similar mechanics.

That’s absurd if we talk about meritocracy. But that’s how the world go.
If you take a look around you, you’ll see that’s a common practice almost everywhere.

Cars are the first coming to my mind.
It’s better (as a business model) build a solid car that last for many years, or selling a cheap car and charge hard on assistance?
And what about mobile phones? Insurance?
Bank accounts?

It is what it is and that’s not something Small Giant must correct for themself.

For me the question is another.
Must we force people do the correct choice, or leave them the freedom to do something stupid? Because people generally are stupid, do things stupid or want to believe in something stupid.

Reality is hard and unpleasant. We saw it everyday in politics.
Is more easy to trust a comforting lie rather than an unpleasant truth.

This game have analogies with gambling.
It is not a coincidence that we have poker and casino adds in mystic vision.
You do advertising where you know there’s potential customers watching you.
So casino and poker games has valued that there are many potential customers here.
And that tells you more than any inquire how much this game is linked with gambling.

Then you have other childish and harmless games advertised here, so of course it is not only about gambling.

I don’t know.
Of course i don’t like how much they take advantage of this, but it’s more the “quantity” of advantage rather that the advantage per se.

There’s many other worse business then this still perfectly legal around the world, this seems so bad only because directly affect us.

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Gambling is a very polarising topic and even without obvious addicition it has been known to cause rifts in relationships. Though to be fair, I suppose you could say that about a lot of things.

I noticed though, that I was easily sucked in to spending on gatcha even though I loginally know it’s gambling and I would never, ever, ever use fruit machines, go to a casino or bet on sports.

That gambling has never appealed to me, it’s always been distasteful which is likely both personality and growing up in a household with 2 adults that argued about it, and watching a friend plummet headfirst into serious gambling addiction (now recovered). But gatcha somehow slipped past the usual brain control.


Also, Melbourne cup betting in Australia, wowee

As a child in Australia in the early 80s when I was in year 1 we had Melbourne cup sweepstakes with prizes for the winners. No one spent any real money but we all put our plastic coins into the pot and took our little slips of paper with the horses name, and then listened to the race.

I’ve no idea if they do that anymore, but when I told my European spouse he was horrified.

We’re talking about 6 and 7 year olds. Because that horse race is such a national event people thought nothing of including the kids on the fun.

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That’s the force of micro-transaction and repetitive advertising.

You don’t want to go in a casino, but don’t mind to go in a place if you don’t know it’s a casino.
And it’s one thing going once, but everyday?

Let’s say you are on a diet and go in a backery once. You resist the temptantion because your will is strong.
Now go in a backery disquised as a simple bar everyday fo a year.

A piece of cake here and there slip in your mouth :grin:


Just because some feel it’s up an individual to be resposible for their own actions does mean we think or feel that lootboxes or addictions are a good thing BUT we do say if your going to put yourself in a situtation where these things exist then then learn self control and don’t blame others for your lack of it.

No one on this planet has forced you to download a game which has a lootbox system within it and play it BUT yet one feels the need to keep playing instead of deleting the game and finding another. This is what totally cracks me up, honestly.

Humans are known for putting themselves in situations and then trying to blame others for their lack of responsibility,

  1. Take driving cars, everyone knows it’s wrong and agaist the law to drive under the influence, speed or whilst using a mobile phone BUT guess what? they still do it, does it put their families at risk and in some cases death but they will try to blame the system for it and keep doing and risk (GAMBLE) losing their jobs or worse.
  2. People know that an addiction is wrong no matter what it is be it gambling, drinking, drugs or whatever and they also know that by going to one of these places they are risking their relationships and families well being BUT guess what whilst these people are at work, whilst these pensioners spend the next 2 weeks waiting for their checks to arrive, whilst they spend the next week not being able to feed their kids, DO YOU think they would see their mistake and show remorse for those that they affected and do something about stopping their madness, NO instead they will blame the system and keep using it as an excuse and risk (GAMBLE) damaging their lives.

Do you honestly believe that these gambling commission commities care wheather your gamble or not or that it affects kids, NO ( they always say the truth is the hardest to accept) but NO they don’t, all they have to do is appear as though they care because they will never literally stop gambling or any aspect of it as long as an income is going back to them from the source.

These laws state that lootboxes are illegal or they are trying to make them illegal because they are randomness is involved and they have said that if what is inside them is known and odds displayed they will be accepted.

As for minors well although it is wrong for them to exposed to these things, technically they shouldn’t even be playing these games by law.

Now the smart thing for these game makers to do is display the contents and odds, because as long as they are doing that, there is no law stopping them from using lootboxes at all. So lets say they do this! Do you honestly think it will stop players from having a go? it might some for sure but who’s to say it won’t attract more spenders.

  1. Does horrible images on smokes and removing brands stop smokers?
  2. Does warning signs in casino’s, clubs etc stop Gamblers?
  3. Do speeding signs spot speedsters
  4. Does watching your family suffer because of your habits stop you?
  5. Does watching a drunk get run over, or killing someone stop one ?from drinking

Why is the answer to all of these NO for the greater majority of people I wonder. BECAUSE they like to GAMBLE with the RANDOM/CHANCE possibility that they can get away with it.

So yes even though I also totally agree that something should be done to fix these lootbox issues, it doesn’t change the fact that they are here and the only prevention is self control and watching out for our kids ourselves.

Good question, is going to the store every few days to buy a litre of milk make you an addict, does going jogging everyday make you an addict, and the list goes on OR is an addict only someone who does something that could potentially affect and/or destroy another persons life, or is an addict someone that just simply keeps no being dissatisfied with situations they keep putting themselves into.

My point in all of this is, STOP blaming SG, authorities and the law just because you didn’t get the heroes you wanted. Leave to control your own life.

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Actually, didn’t the graphic anti-smoking ad campaign on TV in Australia in the 1990s actually work to reduce smoking (for a time). I remember there were complaints that they were too graphic and whatnot, but it seemed like it was successful as a deterrent.

So stop blaming the casino too because you didn’t get the jackpot you wanted?

Yes and no, I don’t think it’s as straightforward as free will and consenting adults and that’s where we’ll disagree I guess

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Of course is gambling.
I saw some website saying lootboxes in many games are banning (most in PlayStation) because is “illegal” in some country. I don’t know if is ok banning all lootboxes, but sometimes lootboxes should give extra cumulative points to guarantee some item/loot after purchasing X quantities.

May have reduced it but they base that on sales and used the images as their reason to say that it worked, where actually sales drop was due to enforcing age restrictions by not allowing minors under 18yrs of age to buy smokes thus that alone would have drastically reduced sales pretty much overnight and thus smokers which is great yes.

Everyone I know that smokes just simply ignores the images completely or they make jokes about them.

What they don’t tell you though is that it opened up the black market on tobacco as so much now is being bought under the counter and them at half the price thus not registered

Funny I’ve never seen anyone blame the casino for not having gotten the Jackpot,lol.:grinning: but like here they do for having lost their money and again only 1 in 20 plus of those that try to sue casinos actully get a payout, but only ever hear of that 1 in the news,lol, funny that.

Lootboxes are gambling. The entire gacha model is gambling. I hope the Aussies crush the entire model.

Here is the Australian findings on this.¯_ツ_-¯/

The bottom line they are washing their hands of the matter and passing the buck to committees with less power to make changes.

I guess since under Australian laws kids under 18yrs fall within the MINOR catagory and E&P’s TOS state that minors shouldn’t be playing this game that Australia deems lootboxes acceptable.

This would/could bring another debate and that is that games that have lootboxes should have better regulated registration processes but this would also mean that Google would also have to up it’s conditions for these gaming apps to be accepted into the play store.

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Know a guy who spent his parents entire life savings which was in the mid 6 digits as in 500k+, and stole multiple friends credit cards. He is now in prison for 15 years, if you think for a minute he had control over that addiction once it had progressed so far you are kidding yourself. ALL addictions change your brain chemistry and how you perceive the world in different ways depending on the addiction and how far along you have progressed so its not as simple as just don’t go to the casino or smoke that meth or drink that beer or put yourself in situations where your vices are around. That the silliest most ignorant statement i hear from all sorts of people who visit the homeless shelter to visit loved ones and or make donations etc.

I know you didn’t say that @FrenziedEye just to make sure were clear, but some people’s kids…:pensive:


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