Paying for loot boxes is linked to problem gambling, regardless of specific features like cash-out and pay-to-win

@article{Zendle2020PayingFL,
  title={Paying for loot boxes is linked to problem gambling, regardless of specific features like cash-out and pay-to-win},
  author={David Zendle and Paul A. Cairns and Herbie Barnett and Cade Andrew McCall},
  journal={Comput. Hum. Behav.},
  year={2020},
  volume={102},
  pages={181-191}
}
Links between problem gambling and spending on booster packs in collectible card games: A conceptual replication of research on loot boxes
TLDR
Although collectable card game booster packs, like loot boxes, share structural similarities with gambling, it appears that they may not be linked to problem gambling in the same way as loot boxes.
Only problem gamblers spend less money when loot boxes are removed from a game: A before and after study of Heroes of the Storm
Loot boxes are items in video games that may be paid for with real-world money, but which contain randomised contents. There is a reliable correlation between loot box spending and problem gambling
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TLDR
It seems possible that links between loot box spending and problem gambling are not due to a general dysregulation in in-game spending amongst problem gamblers, but rather are to do with specific features of loot boxes themselves.
Which Implementations of Loot Boxes Constitute Gambling? A UK Legal Perspective on the Potential Harms of Random Reward Mechanisms
  • Leon Y. Xiao
  • Economics
    International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
  • 2020
Loot boxes are virtual items in video games that offer the player randomised in-game rewards of uncertain in-game and real-world value. Paid loot boxes represent a lucrative and prevalent
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TLDR
This study is the first to assess paid loot box prevalence in the PRC and companies’ discretionary interpretations of probability disclosure regulations and suggests loot box probability disclosures should be uniform and visually prominent to best help inform consumers.
Loot box purchasing is linked to problem gambling in adolescents when controlling for monetary gambling participation.
Background and aims Purchasing loot boxes in digital games is akin to gambling as it involves risking money for a chance-based reward of uncertain value. Research has linked buying loot boxes to
Meta-analysis of the relationship between problem gambling, excessive gaming and loot box spending
ABSTRACT Loot boxes are purchasable randomized rewards contained in some video games. Concerns have been raised that these share psychological and structural features with traditional forms of
Loot Boxes and Gambling: Similarities and Dissimilarities in Risk and Protective Factors
TLDR
Large, random samples of American youth are used to regress both gambling and loot box purchasing (as well as purchasing other downloadable content) on previously established risk and protective factors of gambling and suggest that, aside from gender differences, loot boxes share little in common with traditional forms of gambling.
Pay-to-Win Gaming and its Interrelation with Gambling: Findings from a Representative Population Sample
TLDR
It is found that Pay-to-Win gamers are a distinct consumer group with considerable attraction to gambling, and high engagement and problematic behavior in one game form affects (over)involvement in the other.
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It is unclear from this study whether buying loot boxes acts as a gateway to problem gambling, or whether spending large amounts of money on loot boxes appeals more to problem gamblers, but results suggest that there may be good reason to regulate loot boxes in games.
Loot boxes are again linked to problem gambling: Results of a replication study
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It is suggested that loot boxes act as a gateway to problem gambling, or that individuals with gambling problems are drawn to spend more on loot boxes, and there is good reason to regulate loot boxes.
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The results suggest that loot boxes either cause problem gambling among older adolescents, allow game companies to profit from adolescents with gambling problems for massive monetary rewards, or both of the above.
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