The ESRB doesn’t “consider loot boxes to be gambling”


America’s Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has weighed in on Loot Boxes in games, saying it don’t consider them to be a form of gambling.

“ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling,” a spokesperson told Kotaku.

“While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want). We think of it as a similar principle to collectable card games: sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have.”

The ESRB has an Adults-Only rating that is applied to content with real-world gambling, but it’s tied to actual gambling (ie poker or blackjack) using real-world money.

What do you make of the situation? Is dropping a tenner on red and letting it ride the same as spending $10 on a Loot Box and getting common items?