Summary of “A Video Game ‘Loot Box’ Offers Coveted Rewards, but Is It Gambling?”

Most of those bills have stalled sparing for now a substantial revenue stream for the video game industry, which is eager to counter rising production costs.
Dan Hewitt, vice president of media relations for the Entertainment Software Association, an industry trade group, said loot boxes are not gambling because they each provide something to use in the game.
Most loot boxes can be accumulated free by playing the game, but they are also for sale: In Overwatch, a vibrant team-based shooter by Blizzard, they are sold in packages from two for $2 to 50 for $40. The items in the loot boxes vary in rarity: common, rare, epic and legendary.
The software association has compared loot boxes to packs of sports cards or games like Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering.
Gaming commissions in the United Kingdom and New Zealand have said loot boxes are not gambling.
Faced with the perception it was greedy, Electronic Arts, the game’s publisher, removed the option to pay for loot boxes hours before the game was released.
A company spokesman declined to comment, and it was unclear how it will incorporate loot boxes in future games.
Loot boxes have been prevalent for at least a decade, mostly in free games, but the Battlefront controversy was “The first real big punch in the gut,” said Christopher Hansford, the political engagement director for Consumers for Digital Fairness, which wants randomized in-game transactions regulated as gambling.

The orginal article.