Experts in the gaming industry note that in recent years, there has been a penetration of gambling entertainment elements into traditional computer games that are not related to the ability to make money. As a result, the previously obvious boundary between gaming and gambling begins to blur.

In many games, mechanics such as opening lootboxes and skin gambling are beginning to appear, which make them related to gambling entertainment. A recent survey in the United States showed that almost 40% of children whose age is in the range of 11-16 years old have online gambling experience.


One of the most common ways to earn money for the creators of shareware games is the so-called lootboxes. 31% of children spent money on them. Lootbox is a gift set containing items useful for the game (naturally, virtual).

For example, it can be armor and guns for shooters like in Fortnite or cards of football players for a sports simulator. However, its exact content is not known, and the player may fall into particularly valuable, unique items, as well as useless trash. Thus, when a lootbox is opened, a player gambles.

Often at the beginning of the game, several lootboxes can be opened for free, as part of the training, and they can also be given with a limited frequency, for example, once a week. This is done to attract players and develop excitement.

The difference between gambling and other computer games

The key difference between gambling and gaming is the possibility of making money. No matter how much a player opens lootboxes, he will never come across a real amount of money, only digital goods useful for the game

It is proved that there is a relationship between such video games and gambling. Those children who play games with lootboxes and other similar game mechanics (for example, with the "wheel of fortune"), in the future, will often start trying to play in online casinos.

Are gaming and gambling close to each other? From the game process, a gambling mechanic is not needed for video games; it is not a key element of gameplay. However, with its help, developers increase their income. They use the desire of players to obtain valuable items quickly.

The states of leaders in the gaming industry employ professional psychologists who are well aware of the best way to "hook" a client into regular gaming purchases. Sometimes for this player, you have to make him suffer. For example, you can make a level that can't be passed in any way, but it seems that just a little is missing, and after the next failure, offer the player a loot box with items useful for this level.


The legality of using lootboxes

In some European countries, such as Holland or Belgium, the law imposes restrictions on the use of gambling mechanics in regular games, especially in child-oriented applications.

Several experts even believe that the law should prohibit the use of lootboxes in any applications, with the exception of those that belong to the "21+" category. Interestingly, adult lootboxes are not so popular. Psychologists believe that adults are more interested in earning valuable items for themselves, and not to get them by chance.