3 virtual loot boxes that can be purchased for real money.

Video Game Loot Boxes vs Gambling: A Comparison

Gambling is a hobby that is monetized in a unique way. The way these businesses generate revenue is by hosting games or allowing players to place wagers. However, if you were to break down each game individually you will notice a certain pattern. In the majority of rounds, you lose or make insignificant gains, but on rare occasions, you can get a more meaningful reward. This is especially true for pokies or slots that are very popular in Australia. Many gambling fans find where to play at aussielowdepositcasino.com in order to ensure their operator is safe. They are fully aware of how pokies work, and they actually look forward to a chance to win a big reward.

Even when choosing slots Aussie players are very cautious. They read reviews and do background checks on the operators. They look for new popular games, and they also look for favorable promotions and loyalty programs. Even when they find a popular game like Sweet Bonanza they try out a free demo first before they decide to spend real money. However, this content is meant for adults and it is heavily regulated. Games are aimed at a younger audience, and one of the more recent trends or features, called loot boxes, has us raising our eyebrows.

Why Are Lootboxes Compared to Casino Games

Lootboxes are a monetization feature that is present in many popular AAA games. EA is the studio that gets a lot of criticism regarding lootboxes and for a good reason. FIFA is among the top-selling games in the world, and a new FIFA game gets released every year. Even though young players all over the world enjoy it, the growing frustration with FIFA and its pay-to-win approach is becoming evident. Not only do you pay over $50 but in order to compete against others you need to spend additional cash to have a competitive team.

Lootboxes can drop all sorts of in-game assets or in this case new players. But there will always be chase cards that are worth more. In other words, you spend money on what are seemingly trash packs, in order to get the coveted player card that has a low drop chance. It’s pretty obvious why casino slots come to mind when someone examines the lootbox concept.

How Come Lootboxes Aren’t Regulated Like Gambling?

Although the concept or mechanics are similar there is a key distinction here. In slots, players can win real money, whereas with lootboxes there is no monetary incentive for continuous purchases. In other words, you can’t win real money. Still, many parents are very concerned because younger gamers are now comfortable with the idea of spending money on a game in order to chase rewards.

However, there are instances where lootboxes have trespassed into the gambling territory. Not only that but a whole new gambling community or trend has emerged out of this scandal. CS: GO lootboxes that players purchase contain cosmetics for weapons and allow players to personalize their characters. Once again some of the skins or assets have higher quality aesthetics and a low drop rate. But there is a big difference here. These assets are tradable between players.

In other words, players can pay money to someone else and purchase the skin they want. This means that there is a monetary incentive to purchase these packs because you can get skin that is in high demand. Moreover, there are third-party websites that allow you to bet the skins you have and possibly get another cosmetic that you will like. This is the reason why Belgium has banned lootboxes, and other countries might follow its example.

How Will This Impact Future Games?

For game studios, lootboxes are a good thing. They have an incentive to continue working on the game as there is an easy way to monetize this ongoing support. For players, this is undoubtedly a bad thing. There are so many popular game genres that revolve around competitive and cooperative play. Having the ability to trade assets or in-game items is what makes these games more engaging. However, developers might have to limit or eliminate trades altogether in order to continue monetizing through lootboxes. Otherwise, their content might be perceived as gambling, and publishing criteria will change significantly.


It’s evident that there are striking similarities between lootboxes and some casino games. That being said, there are lots of differences, and it would be unfair to treat them the same. It would be wise to reimagine this concept of in-game purchases, and exclude the RNG or at least bring randomness to a minimum. The overall game quality suffers when developers design to accommodate this method of monetization. The removal or limitation of in-game trade can easily suck the life out of an otherwise enthusiastic community.