Are lootboxes gambling? Australian inquiry

Wouldn’t be surprised if some on here were tempted to resort to such measures, after not being able to pull a 5* for the nth time

Very sad

Fixed rarity

I agree with this 1000%

But I just remembered this morning that trading card packs also have a guaranteed number of epic and legendary.

Not only can you trade your 3rd Joon for Lianna, but the odds are 0% that a pack will have zero Legendary heroes and 0% that a pack will not have X% epic heroes.

Duplicates are a problem ( see secondary market), but bad runs of rarity are not.

With merciless RNG, hundreds of summons may yield 100% rare heroes.

So lootboxes are closer to gambling than trading cards.


Another common Empires complaint is no way just to buy Atlantis heroes, or just Guardians heroes.

I think this is because no secondary market forcing the game studio ( Devs just following bosses’ orders), to be competitive.

Pokémon GO has trade and this directly influences what Niantic can get away with.

Unrestricted trade is bad ( see Ingress resellers and WoW gold farmers ) but that can successfully be worked around.


Yep we sure need more competition

From a discussion on Pokémon GO shiny hunting ( think cosmetic only costumes).


I wish the article was not in Psychology Today, but am interesting argument that video game addiction exists and any video game with persistent bonuses ( leveling up, collecting, building, etc. ) can be addicting because it can lead to destructive decision making ( missing sleep/ driving distracted to empty energy meter/ empty temporary storage/ participate in a limited time event).



Simulated gambling. Love the phrase.


Spot on. Way to go Australia. Come on rest of the world!!

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Wouldn’t celebrate just yet, it’s just a recommendation…

The key part of that SS however is only to include “Adult Verification”

It doesn’t do anything more than that in terms of regulation… :s


Getting back to normal life requires a comprehensive approach and constant fight with your inner demons. However, following these five steps can help you get on the right track:

Research your condition. Find out what are the leading causes of your addiction and temptation.
Apply for therapy of your gambling addiction. Find professional medical and psychological help.
Find support. Cooperate with other gamblers who want to quit or join the existing support communities.
Solve your financial problems. Find help and financial advice in the national and charity organisations.
Stop gambling. Add yourself to the gambling self-exclusion scheme in your country, or any other territory you can get access to the online casinos.

You can find more information about help centres and organisations for players who suffer from gambling addiction.

Here is a question to all you so called non gamblers not gambling on the possibility of getting minute chances in loot boxes.

How many of you still play this game because

  1. You love it and you just can’t get enough of it

  2. Because you’ve invested so much money into it that you can’t bring yourself to stopping to make all those pointless expenditures comprehensable and feel ashamed you threw all that money away.

  3. Or are you in general a weekly lotto player type of person that lives in the hope of getting something out of astronomical odds and whine about it but yet can’t help yourself but keep doing it, thus a typical lotto player.

One of these make you a Gambler! Guess which one?

Loot boxes are offered with a chance of element, any game in the world weather online or not that offers a chance element with it is considered a gambling element weather is is paid or free, the only question is “how far or much are you prepared to go or spend while you fantise about getting what you want”?

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@Ozy1 I guess the long and short answer to your question is I used to be a gambler (gambling my time away) but I stopped playing all gacha games eventually because I realised they were just a semblance of the games I loved (they took aspects of what I loved about games and added this gacha mechanic) but they weren’t actually the games I loved.

I can understand how players would feel obliged to hang on because of what they have already built and achieved. But when you realise there is no end to this game I came to the view that all I had collected up to that point in time was all a sunk cost.

To each their own. Not everyone will agree.


This is actually a scary thought to me. Or at least would be, if I was tempted to spend for nearly impossible to obtain heroes.

Fortunately for me, at least, there is an “END” to this game. Whichever comes first. Either:

  • I run out of unique heroes to work on; odds for pulling new ones are too low for it to ever feasibly happen; I quit out of boredom / frustration

  • I run out of ascension mats to finish the heroes I have, and realize it could take me many months to gather enough to ascend just one; I quit out of boredom / frustration

  • Everyone else in my alliance gets tired of playing the game and quits, leaving me all by myself; I quit out of boredom / frustration

  • Power creep goes insanely over the top, every war opponent is impenetrable, no point in even participating; I quit out of boredom / frustration

  • Big spenders leave the game, SG stops raking in millions, Zynga shuts down the game servers

  • Wacky but possible alternative: big spenders leave the game, SG stops raking in millions, Zynga starts charging a monthly fee just to play the game; I ragequit

Those are my main “end game” scenarios.

Oops… forgot to add…

  • Zombie apocalypse. Wifi is down, too busy killing zombies to hit the titan.

I have no doubt EP pulls are gambling. Noone that spends money of this game does it looking to get 3* heroes. So we can call those ‘the nothing’.
Therefore just like in gambling when you spend money you risk getting nothing. With a bit of luck you get some back (a 4*) and rarely you get a great prize (a 5*) and you even one day get a jackpot (that amazing 5* everyone wants)
But most of the time you know you get nothing.

The psychology of it is exactly the same. From time to time you end up getting something decent so you still believe your luck you’ll come and you’ll get 5 ninjas in one pull. So one keeps spending and feeding the machine. This is gambling. And the app should come with a warning.

Also if anyone knows how can I block the access from EP to Google pay I would love to know. I don’t spend much but I want to spend zero. And my brain is stupid sometimes. Just like with gambling if I’m horribly grumpy I spend for no good reason. (This is the basics of addiction and this games knows it too well)


It is gambling for sure, everyone knows it, some admit to it and try to defend it, others play it off like it’s no big deal.

This is probably not a perfect answer for you, as I do not know your own personal spending habits via Google and such, but for me personally? I simply removed all of my payment methods from Google Play Store. That way, I can’t make a purchase without entering all of my card information in again manually.

I did that not to protect myself from gambling temptation, because I personally do not have a gambling addiction, but rather to prevent myself from accidentally clicking on one of the 5 million popup “buy this!” ads the game gives me while I’m half asleep.


That’s probably a good idea. I don’t feel I have a gambling addiction (yet) but I feel that I could fall that rabbit hole very easily.
At least this game is teaching me to never never go anywhere near a slotb machine.


This seems the most likely. Followed by your power creep scenario


Overall, yes, it’s wise to avoid slot machines (and gambling in general). Especially if you feel like you’re the type to get easily hooked. But if you aren’t prone to addictive gambling yourself, it’s probably safe to play some on a very limited basis. Especially since most casinos are highly regulated and must post their odds - there are some casinos in Vegas where your odds of winning vs. losing on the slots are about 49% vs. 51%.

How can they possibly make money by paying out 99 cents on the dollar? Quite easily, when you have millions of regular customers pumping in millions of dollars into those machines every day. Even with something as low as a 1% profit margin, a very busy casino can still make a very healthy profit.

  • though important to note, I haven’t been to Las Vegas since long before COVID started; the pandemic dealt a very big blow to their industries, so they may not be as generous as they once were during “boom times”

When I go into a casino, I go in with a set budget that I’m willing to lose, and I never ever exceed that budget. I go in with cash and when that cash is gone, I’m done, I walk away. Flip side of that is, if I put some money in a machine and I actually win a decent jackpot? I leave the casino with more money than I walked in with. Important to note that this doesn’t happen often; in the long run, the odds always favor the house. But if you have a little bit of luck and a lot of self control, it is possible to come out ahead. It’s mostly those without self control who end up losing it all. Even if they win a jackpot early on, they keep putting their money in until they’re broke. Then they visit the ATM to take out more money until they’re even more broke.

It’s a vicious thing, that little voice in the back of your head telling you, “come on, you’re bound to win big soon, just keep playing… take some cash advances on your credit cards, borrow money from your friends… once you win, you’ll be able to pay everyone back and then some.”

For that reason, I’m certainly not promoting or defending casinos either. In the end, the house always wins. Always. But at least when you walk into a casino? You know that there are regulators closely watching that casino to make sure that they aren’t blatantly ripping people off, and you actually stand a chance (albeit a small one) of making money.

Whereas when you play E&P, you are basically taking them at their word when they tell you what the odds are, and you aren’t ever getting any of your money back.


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