Are loot boxes a form of gambling?

It’s hard to say. We suggest judging on a game-by-game basis.

Let’s take Overwatch as an example no. 1. It contains loot boxes, but those are only filled with cosmetic items. These cosmetic items can’t be traded. The only way to profit from these boxes is to sell your account.

However, if Blizzard finds out that you sold your account, that account will be immediately banned. Although, this doesn’t stop accounts from being sold every day.

We would say that, while this could be considered unethical, this isn’t gambling.

Let’s take Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as an example no. 2. CS:GO also contains loot boxes, also filled with cosmetic items, but there is one key difference — you can sell these items on the Steam marketplace.

That makes a world of difference since you could spend $10 on a loot box and receive a $5,000 skin, which you could then sell on the marketplace.

This introduction of the Steam marketplace in the equation makes CS:GO loot boxes stray way too close to gambling territory. Especially considering there were many many (illegal) CS:GO skin gambling sites in the past.

While we would still be reluctant to call it gambling, it gets dangerously close.

In the end, it is not up to us to decide but up to the people and governments of the world.

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