[Article] Loot boxes and Gambling in SA

A bit late to the game with this one, but if you want to know if loot boxes are considered as gambling in terms of SA law, here you go: http://www.nickhallsa.co.za/2017/12/07/lets-talk-about-loot-boxes-and-gambling/

TL:DR No they aren't


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    Hold on. Regarding the lottery part of the law. If the person is playing the game in order to get more loot, then the game is a lottery for them? And if the game exists to make it possible to sell loot boxes then the game is a lottery for the developer? (and this would be especially true in a free-to-play game or a game where most of the monetization is of the loot boxes).

    I know that wouldn't work in law, as the law currently stands. Because it is possible to say that the purpose of the game is to play it and not distribute loot boxes.

    But it feels like loot boxes being a lottery is in the spirit of that law, and the law simply didn't anticipate loot boxes.

    Also, I feel like a lot is hinging on video games not being real spaces, and so currency within them also isn't real. But the people playing don't always behave that way. And companies are definitely exploiting the fact that to many players stuff in the game has real value.

    I don't buy the Wizard's of the Coast argument that because the cards are only valuable on an unsupported market that they aren't giving away things of value on a gambling/lottery style system. Firstly, Wizards does support the market when they sell the cards to the market (those stores are selling brand new cards, not just second hand ones). Secondly the cards are widely distributed on places like eBay and Amazon, their value is widely understood and appreciated.

    I say this as a person who once spent R15,000 on Magic Cards over a couple months (and I definitely regret doing so, this was long before I had had any financial success in game development).

    I think as our civilization progresses it's likely people will spend more time in virtual spaces, and legislating those spaces as just fun and unreal is irresponsible when people are spending real money for the stuff in them (often to life crippling effect).
  • @LexAquillia

    I'd love to see an article on the CryptoKitties game - seeing as this really does cross over between entertainment and money.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • @tusim that isn't what I was asking for
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
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