Even if players aren't technically gambling, video games and their use of loot boxes and microtransactions may still pose similar threats to children that real world gambling will, the UK Gambling Commission recently told Eurogamer. What this means for the future, and how big the threat actually is, is hard to tell as of right now.
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"In relation to loot boxes specifically, the key thing here is the loot boxes we've seen, none of them contain a facility to be able to cash-out within the game itself, and that's really the key thing which is preventing them from crossing that line into becoming gambling," executive director of the UK Gambling Commission Tim Miller told the outlet.
Though there's concern over the risk of these in-game items posing threats to children where they're using real-world money without understanding the implications of what they're doing, they're still not recognized as gambling. According to Eurogamer, while attending the charity Gamble Aware's annual conference, there was a lot of talk about games and their use of gambling mechanics. But there was no word from developers, the ones implementing these systems.