Home Gaming Everyone calm down! Loot boxes aren’t gambling according to UK’s Digital Minister

Everyone calm down! Loot boxes aren’t gambling according to UK’s Digital Minister

1 min read

Continuing the UK’s general inquiry into the legality of loot boxes, Margot James stated that loot boxes are in no way gambling but do lead to gambling. Should we tell her?


Over the past few weeks, the UK has been following up on claims that loot boxes, every publisher’s favourite form of income, function as some form of gambling targeted at children. While many have come up to testify why there should be tighter regulations on loot boxes, some even maintaining they be made illegal, others have defended them. Just a few weeks ago EA described loot boxes as surprise mechanics” which garnered them quite a bit of mockery online. The latest person to offer a somewhat half-hearted defence of loot boxes is Margot James, Conservative and Digital Minister for parliament.


James contested “the assumption that loot boxes are gambling”, citing the cases of Belgium and Netherland’s conclusions that loot boxes do constitute gambling and states that more research is necessary before any drastic measures be taken. She defends her claims by stating that those two countries just have different standards as to what constitutes as gambling, yet never goes into detail to describe what those standards are or how they differ to the UK. What’s truly strange is that despite decrying the gambling nature of loot boxes, she goes further to say that they may be responsible in provoking those who already have “a propensity to gambling” to take it even further. Basically, loot boxes aren’t gambling, but they can persuade people who like gambling togamble more? Sure. Okay.


James believes that the UK should do nothing to improve their digital gambling laws to cover loot boxes and should instead wait for more grounded research to make a final and definitive claim. This comes after the World Health Organisation officially announced gaming addiction to be a real mental illness although James claims this evidence is not enough and needs to be evaluated further. A deep dive into James’ testimony can be found here.

Last Updated: July 4, 2019


  1. Llama In The Rift

    July 4, 2019 at 12:34

    Yeah and Brexit was such a good idea….good one UK, and you wonder why nobody listens to you.


  2. Pariah

    July 4, 2019 at 13:06

    So basically, using surprise mechanics you can acquire a surprise gambling addiction.


  3. Guz

    July 4, 2019 at 13:35

    How much cool drink money is she getting from publishers I wonder? ???


    • Dutch Matrix

      July 4, 2019 at 13:35

      None.She did slip her grandson’s PLaystation username to said publishers and the little bastard is getting all the cool loot.
      Lucky for him, I guess?


      • Guz

        July 4, 2019 at 13:44

        Ha! It’s NoobMaster69!!! xD


  4. Magoo

    July 4, 2019 at 14:04


    What other word do you use when you pay for a chance at getting something more, less or equally valuable to what you pay? Surprise mechanics is not a real thing so don’t bother quoting that. And don’t tell me items don’t have real word value. They absolutely do. Any game that has a trading mechanic has a real world currency and an economy linked to the items. Fact.


  5. Kenn Gibson

    July 4, 2019 at 12:55

    How much are EA paying her?


  6. Kikmi

    July 4, 2019 at 13:35

    its not gambling, its surprise robbery, sorry I mean mechanics. *cough*

    Ok, but can I tinfoil hat here quickly, who is paying this chick tho. This is such a boiler plate response with very little weight to her claims. “Might lead to gambling”? is that like being inside a casino but not spending money or what? Or even more tinfoil hat, are they trying to make a brexit power move to show the lack of unity in the EU?

    We have to remember these assholes, yes all of them, are politicians and should not be trusted more than you would a honey badger and some fresh testes.

    Edit: Also lets be honest, if it leads to gambling there should be some by laws applied, thats what they did to alcohol and cigarettes and drugs eventually. Surely prevention is better than cure?


  7. Mark Treloar

    July 4, 2019 at 20:41

    or maybe just don’t spend money on loot boxes


    • Yahtzee

      July 5, 2019 at 08:45

      This would be the solution of not for the fact that the majority of humans are idiots without freethinking abilities.


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