US lawmaker petitions against Loot Boxes
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December 6th, 2017, 19:57
I brought something like this up 5 years ago to the founder of Klicknation, aka EA Mobile, aka Bioware Sacramento. Poker Stars (or one of the other big online gambling sites) just had their assets frozen at the time for dealing in bad faith after the feds told them to stop (my personal friend had $10k suddenly locked up on him
Klicknation was taking credit card payments for a 1 in 10,000 chance to in an big in game item. The founder was mooning about how one guy paid $200k for it.
So I pointed out the Poker Stars incident and he claimed it wasn't gambling because no real items were being awarded and the laws weren't clear. He quickly took another question before I could respond.
I would have responded that's the same logic Poker Stars used (Chris Ferguson was involved and he was in legal trouble too).
Checking out the law myself, it seems the government doesn't regulate gambling directly, it specifically regulates "games of chance" which appears to me to be a broader category gambling falls into - and any other kind of category Poker Stars or Klicknation wants to use to claim their way out of.
One way I can see some of these sites finding a loophole in this process is by guaranteeing a minimum item that is itemized for purchase directly - they could even discount it as a loot box item. Any new law would have to prevent that sort of thing.
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