Loot boxes don't fall under gambling legislation, says Irish government
Department of Justice backs away from issue after co-signing declaration commending “blurring of lines between gaming and gambling”
Despite joining 15 other countries in signing a declaration to unite against skins gambling and loot boxes, the Irish government has no plans to crackdown on the practice.
The declaration from the Gaming Regulators European Forum condemned the "blurring of lines between gaming and gambling", and was supported by international regulatory bodies from Washington State to Poland.
Although the government is currently in the process of overhauling gambling legislation in Ireland -- including the establishing of an independent regulatory authority -- minister of state for the Department of Justice David Stanton indicated that loot boxes remain outside of his remit.
"[The Department of Justice] does not have a role to regulate game developers on how their games work nor, in the offering of in-game purchases," he told the Senate of Ireland.
As reported by Irish Legal News, Stanton argued that loot boxes "fall within normal consumer law" rather than gambling legislation.
"Where a game offers the possibility of placing a bet or the taking of risk for financial reward within the game, then, in my view it must be licensed as a gambling product..." he said.
"However, it should be understood, that if a game offers in-game purchases - be they loot boxes, skins, etc. - which are promoted to gamers as increasing their chances of success, such purchases are essentially a commercial or e-commerce activity."