Loot Boxes Not Gambling, Says New Zealand Authorities

New Zealand authorities said that buying loot boxes to get something may seem as gambling, but it is not a punishable offence under the Gambling Act 2003.

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Loot Boxes Not Gambling, Says New Zealand Authorities
Loot Boxes Do Not Gamble, Clarifies New Zealand

New Zealand’s gambling regulation group stated that loot boxes do not account for gambling. The Gambling Compliance department outlined that “loot boxes do not meet the legal definition of gambling.”

The Gambling Compliance department is the part of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). In a statement to Gamasutra, DIA’s Trish Millward highlighted her awareness about ongoing discussion about loot boxes in the wake of controversy regarding Star Wars: Battlefront II.

She outlined the reason for loot boxes not meeting the legal definition of gambling. She admitted it does not meet the legal definition because “gamers do not purchase loot boxes seeking to win money or something that can be converted into money.”

Millward added spending money to purchase loot boxes to gain something may “appear as gambling”, but it cannot be an illegal offence. DIA does not regulate it under the Gambling Act 2003. She outlined the DIA would continue to monitor discussions and speculations around loot boxes in the gaming industry.

According to the leading gaming website Kotaku, Australian authorities admitted loot boxes do not account for gambling. In addition, lawmakers in Hawaii would have banned sale of games based on gambling mechanisms to minors in the U.S.

However, U.S. gaming firms ESA and ESRB do not consider loot boxes as a form of gambling. Battlefront II publisher Electronics Arts has already stated loot boxes are not part of gambling.

Along with New Zealand, Belgium is also monitoring the discussion around loot boxes, but has not arrived at any decision yet.

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