Many games nowadays have loot crate mechanics in place, that let the players test their luck. Typically the player is given the crate for free and can only open it by purchasing a "key". In some games you can buy both.

The player is essentially gambling because they do not know what they will get, and often it is the case that the player was after a rare item that drops at a much lower rate than others. This leads to players spending more money on crates and/or keys until they get lucky.

How is it that is not covered by gambling laws? Children under the legal gambling age(s) play these games, and this is not limited to 18+ games either.

The only reasoning I can give is that it is because the player is guarenteed to win something, and as such it doesn't count as gambling (?).

  • 2
    Perhaps it's because the prize isn't monetary, but gambling laws of course vary from one jurisdiction to another, and the reason they're legal might also vary from one place to another. They might in fact be illegal in some places.
    – phoog
    Nov 9, 2017 at 14:57
  • @phong most gambling laws capture non-monetary prizes
    – Dale M
    Nov 9, 2017 at 19:43
  • Found this question when reviewing my own one about "gacha" games. Leaving a link here for future reference: When does a videogame become a gacha game?
    – SPArcheon
    Jan 4, 2023 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


Because there is no risk of loss

Since you always win something, the mechanic is a "lucky dip" and these have never been considered gambling.

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