Lootboxes “Do Not Meet The Legal Definition For Gambling”, New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Says


Discussion on lootboxes is still going strong, but it's not yet clear if they can be considered gambling since opinions differ on the matter. According to New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs, they do not meet the legal definition of gambling.

Answering to an email from Gamasutra, Trish Milward from the Gambling Compliance office of its Department of Internal Affairs stated that lootboxes cannot be considered as gambling under New Zealand's law.

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According to Trish Millward, a licensing compliance manager at the DIA, her office has been following the international debate closely. But, she said, they do not think that lootboxes meet the legal definition of gambling under New Zealand’s Gambling Act 2003. She added that, in any case, it was not illegal for New Zealanders to gamble online with overseas providers.

This view is on the opposite side of that of Hawaii State representatives Chris Lee and Sean Quinlan, who see lootboxes as gambling and want to introduce some sort of regulation.

For this particular game, I think EA is between a rock and a hard place, but we as consumers have a short memory. I’m sure they will try something like this very soon. As someone who has watched EA develop over the years and consume some of my favorite studios and destroy so many franchises, I don’t think this is going away. And I’m definitely going to stick to this. It’s an important issue for me.