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In the Name of God بسم الله
Haji 2003

Loot box gambling

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Loot boxes in video games like Fifa and Fortnite should constitute gambling under laws to protect children from addictive practices, MPs have advised.

The boxes, which allow gamers to buy a random assortment of in-game items, are difficult to define as gambling under current laws because the prize does not have monetary value.

The inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies investigated how gaming companies were generating vast amounts of revenue and data through the sale of such items.

https://www.independent.co.United Kingdom/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/loot-boxes-video-games-gambling-fifa-fortnite-a9101636.html

Worth considering how the forms taken by gambling can evolve. 

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On 9/12/2019 at 10:05 AM, Haji 2003 said:

The boxes, which allow gamers to buy a random assortment of in-game items, are difficult to define as gambling under current laws because the prize does not have monetary value.

So because a person cannot later sell the items it isn't gambling. Is that what they're getting at? It's a really iffy one I think. Whether it's classed as gambling or not, children don't have the balanced cognitive ability to decide on things, so these lootboxes shouldn't be allowed. They can't understand whether spending $9.99 on a virtual thing which could turn out to be tat is worth getting in relation to the progress they have made on their game career etc. Instant gratification I think sociologists call it, kids aren't able to fully understand when to hang fire.

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55 minutes ago, aaaz1618 said:

So because a person cannot later sell the items it isn't gambling

I think that is close to what are getting at. The issue seems to be that the way the secular law is constructed in the United Kingdom, something is only classified as gambling if the gain you make has some monetary value.

The issue with loot boxes is that what you gain may be a football player who is famous or with specific skills. Intrinsically that has no monetary value, because as you say it cannot be sold on, but it does have 'emotional' or some other hedonic value to the buyer.

The problem for the buyer is that getting the right player etc. effectively becomes a game of chance (to use the Islamic term) and if you don't win that game of chance, you have another go and pay for another bundle.

I think the takeaway from an Islamic perspective, is how a halal transaction* (buying online digital characters) can be converted into a haram one, by changing certain parameters. In this instance the buyer simply does not know what is in the loot box. Removing that information makes it a gamble.

I think this is a good illustration as to how ulema need to keep up with the latest sci/tech/consumer developments and to be honest there is also an onus on the laity to engage with such developments also, because you can fall into haram by not actively reflecting on what is going on.

*As far as I know.

Edited by Haji 2003

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12 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

effectively becomes a game of chance (to use the Islamic term) and if you don't win that game of chance, you have another go and pay for another bundle.

Chance, that was the word I was thinking. In-game purchases like this have the same addictive properties as one gets when gambling and has the same negative potential outcomes- financial loss, debts, problems with family. The value of getting Antoine Griezmann in a pack might not be monetary but does as you say have a value equal to money in the mind of a child or vulnerable adult. 

Significantly GTA online now has a new flashy casino complete with super expensive penthouses that developers released a couple of months ago, so effectively a person can buy the 'Loan Shark Cards' for real money and use the in-game money to win more in-game money, or, alternatively lose the in-game money altogether and the real money behind it.

Yes I do agree scholars across the board need to be in keeping with contemporary issues like this, because unless the law does something, it will become a problem just as the so-called 'nomobophobia' has become in some kids.

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Salam there is three types of loot boxes in every game the first one is that you win a free for logging in without paying any money ,the second is that you do raffle by in game money like as credits that you acquire by playing & third one you do raffle by paying real money that third one it's possible that you use property of other players because that money mixes with money of other players like as Casino in GTA online.

 
Question asked by Ferhana Bhogadia
12-mohammad_saeed_bahmanpour-642.jpg?ito
Mohammed Saeed Bahmanpour, Sheikh Mohammed Saeed Bahmanpour is lecturer of Islamic Studies at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Oriental...Answer updated 3 months ago
Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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