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  1. #1221
    Lootboxes that you purchase with real money are gambling.

    THANKS AND GOODBYE!

  2. #1222
    Immortal Stormspark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elim Garak View Post
    We are not talking about hooks of lootboxes but rather if they are gambling - they are not. Gambling requires a monetary or a valuable (an asset that can be converted into money) reward, reward that is valuable in real life. When people buy a loot box to get an in-game item - they know they are not getting anything worth anything in real life. They want it - but they are not expecting it to be worth anything. They want it for vanity.

    This is not gambling. The hooks of lootboxes are not different than "sale" and "discount" hooks or simple ads. They are psychological and predatory - but not gambling.
    How do those EA boots taste?

    Lootboxes are gambling. It's paying money for a game of chance.

  3. #1223
    Quote Originally Posted by Elim Garak View Post
    1. Wrong. There's nothing objective about prices. You are making a common mistake of attaching the amount paid to the value of the object bought. This mistake is used by salesmen to make bank.
    2. It doesn't matter. If you can't convert it to real money - it's not money.
    3. Refund - is a refund. You made a purchase and then decided to refund it and get your money back. But if you cannot convert those points into real money outside of a refund - they are not money.
    4. A digital copy of a movie has no value - it's a free copy. A film it's made from - has. A digital version of the painting has no value - the real painting has. A digital copy of a song has no value - the real performance has. But it is understandable you cannot grasp this since you confuse price with value.
    5. No, they are not. Purchases are not gambling.
    1. Oh yes? And if you break my $10 hammer how are we going to decide how much you owe me? Spin a wheel? Combat? Or perhaps some form of arbitration where an independent third party will determine the objects objective value based on available evidence?
    2. I don't know what that has to do with what I said?
    3. The refund was a contextual example, the argument was the currencies used by companies (which is a predatory practice) have a value, which they do. If a $10 RP card is not worth $10 how does it exist? Let's step this down, do you know what a gift card is? You know those things with a set value that explicitly exist to be exchanged for goods and services but not legal tender? Are you seriously going to argue they don't have value?
    4. This argument is so fundamentally wrong I don't know why you're persisting down this road, It makes me believe you're not arguing in good faith. Didn't you claim to be a game dev? Have you ever heard of steam?
    5. If I purchase a lottery or raffle ticket I am gambling. The argument that purchases are universally not gambling is wrong on its face.

  4. #1224
    The issue is, "Gambling" was a term created before digital goods existed. It's definition was defined around the world at the time.

    So it's less an argument of if they are gambling and more of whether gambling should be redefined. Back when it was first added to the dictionary, your only choices for gambling were to pay real money for a chance at winning something. You were paying for a game of chance where you were always going to either win nothing or win a physical good which could be then sold on if you wanted, therefore it had a monetary value.

    Now, you pay money for digital goods, that often cannot be sold on. So under that definition, lootboxes are not gambling. But you are still paying real money to play a game of chance.

    So the debate should be whether to change the definition of gambling to put more emphasis on the "Game of chance part" being the defining factor or whether the "chance of winning money" part should be the defining factor. The former would include lootboxes, the latter would not.

    Personally I think the game of chance part is the bigger issue, especially if you are still paying real money to do so even if you aren't getting a real monetary reward for winning. You are still giving money for a chance at a favourable outcome, which to me is definitely gambling. So yes, I think lootboxes should be classed as gambling.

  5. #1225
    Yes, it's gambling and should be regulated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ransath View Post
    Money laundering, especially prior to his election? I couldn't give a flying fuck.

  6. #1226
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    I'll trade you Lord Hope in R v Burt & Adams 1998, who adopts a more broad approach of treating anything exchanged for money and having intrinsic value (i.e. not a sham) as having money's worth.
    I don't think that section of the argument supports you like you think it does:

    The first reason is that a teddy bear or other soft toy-- assuming always that it is a genuine toy and not sham or a device--is something which has its own intrinsic value as a toy. It is something which can be played with or admired and kept for amusement. No doubt it can, like any other article, be exchanged for something else if another person is willing to enter into such a transaction. In that sense it has a value which can be measured in money.
    The "intrinsic value" as you put it is its ability to be "exchanged for something else" that gives it "a value which can be measured in money." Without the ability to enter into a transaction (or series of transactions) that ultimately result in money, it does not have "money's worth."

  7. #1227
    I dislike MTX, but at least they are _somewhat_ fair as in you know exactly what you get, like MOBA skins. It also gives the option for companies to monetize their games in other ways than raising the price tag.

    Lootboxes or "surprise mechanics" you buy with real currency on the other hand act exactly like gambling and I'm glad more countries are branding them as such. Predatory practises like that has no place in an industry which is based on skill (or anywhere else).

  8. #1228
    Quote Originally Posted by ShmooDude View Post
    The "intrinsic value" as you put it is its ability to be "exchanged for something else" that gives it "a value which can be measured in money." Without the ability to enter into a transaction (or series of transactions) that ultimately result in money, it does not have "money's worth."
    Wew looks like I'm in the clear then. As I said In my previous post both cases are not considering digital goods or the current legislation in any case.

    From a policy perspective, existing jurisprudence aside. I'm not sure its a super good idea to give companies a pass for artificially limiting the resale of 'objects' a consumer has provided valuable consideration for a chance at obtaining on the basis that doing so somehow strips them of value.

  9. #1229
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    Solid point about WoW loot, although to me that just highlights how borderline shoddy blizzard's business practices are. I do have to admit that the act as written does appear to cover such conduct though so I can't really think of a complete defence for blizzard here, although I admit I'm more familiar with Australian legislation.
    I have to say personally as an Australian the WoW token lacks the element of betting required under Australian law to constitute gambling.
    The defense they would likely use is that you can never "cash out". Yes, you can convert some gold to dollar value on Battlenet, you can't actually have Blizzard give you that money. The closest you could come is finding somene to buy a game from you, and then gifting them a game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    However both the issue with the WoW token and your further examples frankly just go to show why the house of lords is correct. The act does not conceive of or correctly regulate online video games that while not traditionally associated with gambling (such as online poker) that are attempting to use gambling to leverage profit. The need for reform is clear.
    In order to have a discuss what value digital goods have that you don't own. You also need to discuss at what point it becomes gambling. How close does the link need to be between payment and reward, As I've said, RNG has been in games for decades. Literal replications of gambling has been in games for decades. It's going to come down to what is considered "reward", and in relation to money spent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    That said I'd not go as far as this "they'll have to remove all RNG" pearl-clutching. Under the act as written WoW without the token would not fall foul of the offence provisions.
    WoW doesn't fall under it now. It would have to be modified To fall under it. Even without the token, the government could still argue it falls under the umbrella. Much like how CS:GO used a 3rd party site to monetize the skins market, gold selling websites have been around since as long as WoW.

    As far as RNG goes, I'm not pearl clutching. I'm not even saying that's a likely outcome. As I've repeatedly said, trying to legislate something like this is going to lead to a a game of whack a mole, which will end either with them giving up, or RNG being removed. Any legislation that you try to create I can likely find both a way around in a short amount of time, and also collateral damage from trying to implement the changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    I'm not sure why you're making out like that's high bar to overcome, online gambling services have age verification requirements right now.
    You misunderstand me. My point is that it is an incredibly low bar to overcome. If the "problem" is kids "gambling" how much would it actually stop it? It would do literally nothing to stop anyone 18+, and would at most, offer an inconvenience to those younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    I'll trade you Lord Hope in R v Burt & Adams 1998, who adopts a more broad approach of treating anything exchanged for money and having intrinsic value (i.e. not a sham) as having money's worth.
    I don't think that case quite backs your argument. In that case, the issue wasn't specifically the value of the good, but whether the fact that you could trade multiples of the same good for a larger prize, which would then exceed the dollar limit per the legislation. The Lords ruled doing so is not a violation.

    So is a loot box more like gambling, or more like a crane game?

  10. #1230
    Quote Originally Posted by Krastyn View Post
    The defense they would likely use is that you can never "cash out". Yes, you can convert some gold to dollar value on Battlenet, you can't actually have Blizzard give you that money. The closest you could come is finding somene to buy a game from you, and then gifting them a game.
    This is a fair point (and one that immediately sprung to mind), what concerns me about that defence is the previous and availability of non-blizzard products on battle net. When destiny, for example, was available that would be a concern for me there simply comes a point where 'not being able to cash out' becomes a bit of a *wink wink* situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krastyn View Post
    WoW doesn't fall under it now. It would have to be modified To fall under it. Even without the token, the government could still argue it falls under the umbrella. Much like how CS:GO used a 3rd party site to monetize the skins market, gold selling websites have been around since as long as WoW.

    As far as RNG goes, I'm not pearl clutching. I'm not even saying that's a likely outcome. As I've repeatedly said, trying to legislate something like this is going to lead to a a game of whack a mole, which will end either with them giving up, or RNG being removed. Any legislation that you try to create I can likely find both a way around in a short amount of time, and also collateral damage from trying to implement the changes.
    Possibly, possibly not. Whether the crown chooses to bring a prosecution or not doesn't define what falls afoul of an act. But that's really more of an aside.

    I think if there is any element of whack-a-mole it will run along two limbs; 1. Shoddy drafting by people who don't understand what they're drafting 2. Companies attempting to evade regulation because they know gambling engagement is a pot of gold they're just scratching the surface of (see 'raid: shadow legends') and they do not believe themselves beholden to the law (which has been a problem since forever).

    If I was to air where I would take the policy position. I would focus down on the directness of the consideration provided to the 'game of chance' being played. Although I admit that is a bias because it would more closely reflect the Australian position.


    Quote Originally Posted by Krastyn View Post
    You misunderstand me. My point is that it is an incredibly low bar to overcome. If the "problem" is kids "gambling" how much would it actually stop it? It would do literally nothing to stop anyone 18+, and would at most, offer an inconvenience to those younger.
    I don't profess to be intimately acquainted with UK online gambling requirements. But my understanding is that the provision of an id is required to sign up, in addition there is some sort of self-exclusion register for problem gamblers.
    I suppose an enterprising youngster might steal dad's id with his credit card, we could conjure ways minors could evade restrictions till the end of time, however.

  11. #1231
    The Patient BrintoSFJ's Avatar
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    It is not the games they are trying to regulate, they are trying to regulate gambling inside games, be that console, pc or mobile games.
    "Why do we fight? to protect home and family, to preserve balance and bring harmony. For my kind the true question is : what is worth fighting for?"

  12. #1232
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    Wew looks like I'm in the clear then. As I said In my previous post both cases are not considering digital goods or the current legislation in any case.

    From a policy perspective, existing jurisprudence aside. I'm not sure its a super good idea to give companies a pass for artificially limiting the resale of 'objects' a consumer has provided valuable consideration for a chance at obtaining on the basis that doing so somehow strips them of value.
    Yeah, the CS:GO stuff can definitely be said to have money's worth. Most don't though.

    I totally agree with you on the policy point. It probably belongs in a broader argument of ownership of digital good.

    For example, I remember reading something a while back. If you "buy" a movie on amazon, you're not actually buying it in the traditional sense. It's a service (that's essentially akin to an indefinite rental). People found this out when some old movie withdrew amazon's rights to distribute it and thus even everyone that "bought" it lost access to it.

    That doesn't even include the complication of should the law require you to be able to resell a digital object in a digital world and the whole other ball of wax that would open.

    P.S. If you check my original link, we both linked the same case. Just referenced different opinions within the case.

  13. #1233
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    This is a fair point (and one that immediately sprung to mind), what concerns me about that defence is the previous and availability of non-blizzard products on battle net. When destiny, for example, was available that would be a concern for me there simply comes a point where 'not being able to cash out' becomes a bit of a *wink wink* situation.
    They could remove the backwards exchanging, but I think that's actually a loss for players. I paid for my WoW sub for over a year through just gold. I'd be worse off if they did that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    Possibly, possibly not. Whether the crown chooses to bring a prosecution or not doesn't define what falls afoul of an act. But that's really more of an aside.
    True, but as I said, you could interpret that loot boxes are in violation of the current 2005 laws, but the common consensus is the rules need to change to encompass this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    I think if there is any element of whack-a-mole it will run along two limbs; 1. Shoddy drafting by people who don't understand what they're drafting 2. Companies attempting to evade regulation because they know gambling engagement is a pot of gold they're just scratching the surface of (see 'raid: shadow legends') and they do not believe themselves beholden to the law (which has been a problem since forever).
    For the first, I think it is pretty clear from listening to a lot of politicians talk about video games that they aren't exactly knowledgeable about video games, or their mechanics.

    For the second, that' just the case of any business following changing rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    If I was to air where I would take the policy position. I would focus down on the directness of the consideration provided to the 'game of chance' being played. Although I admit that is a bias because it would more closely reflect the Australian position.
    But how would you word it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    I don't profess to be intimately acquainted with UK online gambling requirements. But my understanding is that the provision of an id is required to sign up, in addition there is some sort of self-exclusion register for problem gamblers.
    I suppose an enterprising youngster might steal dad's id with his credit card, we could conjure ways minors could evade restrictions till the end of time, however.
    I also don't specifically know UK rules, but for Canada the standard is you just need a credit card. Not something hard to acquire.

  14. #1234
    Quote Originally Posted by Elim Garak View Post
    As someone who works in gamedev I can say that loot boxes are a predatory business practice but it's not gambling.

    It’s still gambling. Just because “nothing” isn’t an option in the results doesn’t mean it’s not gambling.

  15. #1235
    Quote Originally Posted by UpsideDownCoffee View Post
    It’s still gambling. Just because “nothing” isn’t an option in the results doesn’t mean it’s not gambling.
    How can you come out ahead?

  16. #1236
    I actually like loot boxes, they're fun, as long as you can earn them by playing the game as well. Hate the "buy only" ones.

  17. #1237
    Quote Originally Posted by Jtbrig7390 View Post
    https://www.gamespot.com/articles/ba...GSS-05-10aaa0b





    Enjoy the lootbox shit while you can because more and more country's are going to crackdown on it and rule it for what it is... Gambling.

    Edit: Changed title from "And so it begins Battlefront 2, Overwatch Being Investigated By Gambling Authority" to "Are lootboxes gambling & should games be regulated. BF2 and OW under investigation" - Nov. 22, 2017. Lucetia
    Then consider trading card games and mystery box figures gambling.

  18. #1238
    Quote Originally Posted by HitRefresh View Post
    Then consider trading card games and mystery box figures gambling.
    To be fair myster box figures are cancerous. They are like real world lootbox.

  19. #1239
    Maybe one point isn't really clear for many people: the point is not to decide if lootboxes are gambling or not since they don't give a monetary prize. The point is that gambling laws are outdated and obsolete and need to be changed to include lootboxes.

    The fact lootboxes don't give you a prize in money is even worse: you're literally gambling for nothing, as you lose your money every single time.

    Citing the UK directly: "if it behaves like gambling, it's gambling".

    That's way laws need to be changed to reflect this. Many people instead seem to believe the opposite - that since laws about gambling don't include lootboxes, then they're not gambling.

    Sidenote: what makes me laugh is that all of this splurted out from a videogame and players mad at EA because their favourite Star Wars characters were put behind a paywall.
    No one wants to choose. Everyone wants everything.

  20. #1240
    To infinity and beyond det's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldkil View Post

    Citing the UK directly: "if it behaves like gambling, it's gambling".

    That's way laws need to be changed to reflect this. Many people instead seem to believe the opposite - that since laws about gambling don't include lootboxes, then they're not gambling.

    Sidenote: what makes me laugh is that all of this splurted out from a videogame and players mad at EA because their favourite Star Wars characters were put behind a paywall.
    Can that law be changed though to only include loot boxes? I am not a lawyer, but I know laws can have very convoluted descriptions about what they try to restrict and allow.

    And what I gather from other posters here: Isn't a pack of random cards (be it Magic the gathering, Pokemon or your Football Stars collection of the next championship) fulfilling the same criteria? You pay money (real or in game currency) for a sealed container (physical of digital), where you do not know what is in it in hope of an item or several that you like. Hell, wouldn't they have to close down Hearthstone? That game basically functions on card packs.

    Even if that law only included digital loot boxes, I would expect companies suing against the perceived injustice. So it is not really only about the stuff we get in games, it would (and should) affect all kinds of mechanics where you pay your money for something where you do not know what is in the box.

    Yet I noticed I myself was so brainwashed from buying and accepting the system of trading cards since a child that I found THAT totally ok while finding loot boxes questionable.
    Last edited by det; 2020-07-06 at 07:46 AM.

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