Science

ESRB Doesn't Consider Loot Boxes as a Form of Gambling

ESRB Doesn't Consider Loot Boxes as a Form of Gambling

In a statement to Kotaku, a spokesperson for the body that decides what kind of rating entertainment properties like TV shows, movies, and video games writes that the act of buying or selling loot boxes is not officially considered gambling.

Games which are rated for teens and younger children often include an option to pay real money for the chance to win in-game items, and this very modern form of monetizing additional content is falling through a regulation gap in the U.S. and Europe.

Dirk Bosmans, from European video game rating organisation PEGI echoes these statements to Eurogamer, saying "Loot crates are now not considered gambling: you always get something when you purchase them, even if it's not what you hoped for". As such, they can't make any sort of designations against loot boxes one way or another.

This is significant because ESRB guidelines state any game with "real gambling" - that is, any wagering with real-life cash - is automatically rated AO (Adults Only).




Because the player always received something, it was likened to buying collectible cards, where some packs will contain more valuable cards than others.

For a game to be labeled as real gambling, it must involve some type of wagering using actual money.

Kotaku first reported the ESRB's stance on loot boxes. After the recent appearance of such features in games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars: Battlefront II many started raging about how players shouldn't have to spend more money on a $60 video game and there was a statement "flying in the air" that loot boxes should be seen as gambling. A system where it's possible to get nothing new or useful for your money sounds like gambling to me. John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, feels that loot boxes are gambling despite the fact that the player always receives something of value. Maybe if society has accepted digital goods as a viable means of trade in the future, the concept of loot boxes would definitely be revisited and reclassified as gambling from that point on. But it seems that ESRB only counts it as gambling if the players have a chance of not getting anything from the loot box. There's a chance to get something you really want, and people may keep throwing money at the game until they get it, just like they would when hoping for a slot machine jackpot.

The UK is now considering regulation of skin gambling and loot boxes, with a review by the UK Gambling Commission ongoing as of August 2017.


  • Thailand bans smoking on 20 popular tourist beaches

    Thailand bans smoking on 20 popular tourist beaches

    The ban is due to come into force later this month as Phuket prepares to host an global conference on sea waste. Those found flouting the ban could face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and/or a fine of 100,000 baht.
    Bharti Airtel All Set to Acquire Tata Teleservices' Mobile Business

    Bharti Airtel All Set to Acquire Tata Teleservices' Mobile Business

    Buying Tata Teleservices in a cash-less deal indicates the ability of Sunil Mittal and his team at Bharti Airtel . The whole merge deal has been finalized after Tata Sons, TTNL and TTSL have approved of the decision.
    Israeli spies found Russians using Kaspersky software for hacks

    Israeli spies found Russians using Kaspersky software for hacks

    It is unknown what other classified information Russian Federation was able to get their hands on through Kaspersky software. The NIC reportedly said the FSB could use that access to hack sensitive U.S. government and industrial networks.
  • Equifax takes down web page amid new breach concern

    Equifax takes down web page amid new breach concern

    Abrams told tech reporters at Ars Technica that he discovered the hack while using Equifax to dispute his own credit report. In many cases, even more personal data was exposed, including driver's license and credit card numbers.
    Whoa, Scientists Have Detected A Ring Around This Wacky Dwarf Planet

    Whoa, Scientists Have Detected A Ring Around This Wacky Dwarf Planet

    As a result, the team was able to pick up certain things about the dwarf planet, including the possibility of having a ring. This new finding may assist scientists in understanding the reason behind ring formation, and the process of the same.
    Duterte gives PDEA sole authority to conduct anti-drug ops

    Duterte gives PDEA sole authority to conduct anti-drug ops

    In January, he also suspended police from the war on drugs, calling them corrupt, but reinstated them again shortly afterwards. Since July 1, 2016, only 28 drug personalities died during PDEA's operations. "We are ready, we can do it", Carreon said.
  • ATP Shanghai: Del Potro tops Zverev. Dimitrov beats Querrey to reach QF

    ATP Shanghai: Del Potro tops Zverev. Dimitrov beats Querrey to reach QF

    A fan at least came away with a demolished racquet after Zverev handed it to a spectator. The 46th-ranked Harrison led 4-2 in the third set and then 6-3 in the tiebreaker.
    NAFTA:

    NAFTA: "We are ready to all" - Justin Trudeau

    Trudeau said he "highlighted to the president how much we disagree vehemently" on the decision to impose anti-dumping duties. American Express, AT&T, GM and Delta were listed on publicity material for an event hosted by the U.S.
    Bitcoin price soars to record high

    Bitcoin price soars to record high

    The world's most popular cryptocurrency bitcoin has seen another surge, pushing its value to a record $5,220 on Thursday. Bitcoin has soared by more than 750% in the past year and is worth four times as much as an ounce of gold.
  • Pro teams avoiding Trump hotels

    Pro teams avoiding Trump hotels

    While NFL teams typically don't stay at luxury hotels like Trump's due to their massive teams and support staff, other teams do. The Trump SoHo hotel in New York City used to be a favourite for visiting National Basketball Association teams.

    Cabot Oil & Gas Corp (NYSE:COG) Institutional Investor Sentiment

    Nuveen Asset Management Limited Liability Corporation stated it has 1.74M shares or 0.34% of all its holdings. Cabot Oil & Gas has 52 week low of $20.02 and a 52 week high of $27.14 and has a market capitalization of $0.
    Virgin Hyperloop One announced

    Virgin Hyperloop One announced

    Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson predicts he will travel in space before he ever becomes a passenger on a hyperloop.