UK Gambling Commission Clarifies Position on Lootboxes and Skins

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    The legality of lootboxes has been brought into question in recent years, and legislators around the world are starting to tackle it. While the UK Gambling Commission previously said that lootboxes aren't a problem, a report released last week led some media outlets to believe that the commission was changing their position. But the organization told gamesindustry.biz that their position on lootboxes hasn't changed, in spite of the survey results. Interestingly, the survey reiterated that skin trading and betting do fall under the UK's gambling laws.

    Skins' are in-game items, used within some of the most popular video game titles. They provide cosmetic alterations to a player's weapons, avatar or equipment used in the game. Skins betting sites allow video gamers to wager cosmetic items rewarded in-game or purchased for real money on a digital marketplace,accessible from the UK for several years.The Gambling Commission takes the view that the ability to convert in-game items to cash, or to trade them (for other items of value) means they attain a real-world value and become articles of money or money’s worth. Where gambling facilities are offered to British consumers, including with the use of in-game items that can be converted into cash or traded (for items of value), a gambling licence is required.
     
  2. Nytegard

    Nytegard 2[H]4U

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    Since gambling apparently technically requires a reward of some monetary value, we need a new word for games of chance which give no rewards of monetary value.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  3. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'd rather they outlaw micro-transactions in games under the age 18. Yes lootcrates should be outlawed cause it is gambling but micro-transactions are predatory towards children and shouldn't be in games aimed at anyone under 18.
     
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  4. Dermen

    Dermen Limp Gawd

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    I think games like Overwatch you can not trade or sell skins, I would not consider that gambling. Other games like Counter-Strike and PUBG you are spending $2.50 to open a box and get a skin that is worth anywhere from .02 to 1000s of dollars. That is 100% gambling. I don't have a problem with gambling, but they are aiming it towards minors. It is also annoying to me that a bunch of 10 years old can play slot machine loot box online but I can not play poker online anymore because it is "gambling".
     
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  5. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think a loot crate is fine if it's a reward for some event or quest or whatever depending on the game. I don't think you should be able to buy or sell lootcrates with game currency (which can usually be obtained with real money)
     
  6. Patton187

    Patton187 Gawd

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    Scam is the word.
     
  7. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thats the point of the article, since the rewards have real-world value, it was deemed gambling in the UK. This is fine, they just need a license and stop hiding behind technicalities.
     
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  8. ashmelev75

    ashmelev75 [H]ard|Gawd

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    digibaiting
     
  9. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    Gambling establishments have a lot of responsibilities though. Video game makers are not good at responsibilities, especially when the backbone of their board of directors' bonuses is based almost entirely on their capacity to get children to engage in their gambling products. After all, getting kids to gamble in your games and make money off of them is much cheaper than making games for your money.
     
  10. Prisoner849

    Prisoner849 Gawd

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    How about "game"? Every game involves chance: to win or lose - it's the very nature of the concept of 'game'.

    Loot boxes in and of themselves are a non-issue; it's the ability to take items out of the game world and monetize them in reality that creates the problem and then how those items are obtained in-game. If one receives a desirable item in-game through pure probability - a.k.a. 'luck' - which then can become cash, means it's gambling, stemming from within the game itself. Remove the ability to transfer items gained in-game outside the game and the problem is solved. If people want to make and sell skins, then no problem, so long as they are made by a third party and do not come from within the game.

    The source of any monetary gain cannot stem from the game itself through an element of luck or probability undertaken using real-world money. This hardly condemns loot boxes but speaks more to their implementation and the allowances for them to be taken out of the game world.

    If a game presents a scenario where a player must pay real-world money for loot boxes which only present a probability for attaining item X and offers no free method of said same item acquisition (again through probability), then it again is a form of gambling. Thus, most games with loot boxes offer grinding to get items or paying, and having no economy outside of the game and no ability to transfer items between players within the game, they are in the clear.

    People see 'probability' and 'chance' as wholly bad which may be - but isn't necessarily - true. Probability and chance, as applied to in-game acquisitions with loot boxes, can be offered fairly. Quake Champions does this well, for example.
     
  11. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    Exactly. But from a UK comissiob point of view it is gambling without a license. Now if the legislation branch of the gov want they can fine them for operating without a license AND no protection for minors, both are illegal in the UK.

    This is just the first step