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ESA claims loot boxes aren't gambling as FTC prepares to investigate

ESA claims loot boxes aren't gambling as FTC prepares to investigate

November 28, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

November 28, 2018 | By Chris Kerr
More: Design, Business/Marketing

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has refuted the notion that loot boxes constitute gambling, just a day after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed to begin an investigation into the controversial monetisation mechanic. 

While this isn't the first time the ESA has defended loot boxes, it's interesting to see the U.S. trade body stand firm while the FTC prepares to dig deeper.

Indeed, according to an ESA representative speaking to, the group refuses to classify loot boxes as gambling because they have no real-world value, and players are always rewarded with some form of prize. 

"Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling," reiterated the ESA. "They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase."

"They can enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, but have no impact on those who do not."

The FTC, however, isn't so sure, and intends to look more closely to find out whether exposure to the mechanic poses any risk to children and teens.

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