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Edited by Hanns Ullrich, Peter Drahos and Gustavo Ghidini

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Edited by Hanns Ullrich, Peter Drahos and Gustavo Ghidini

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Edited by Hanns Ullrich, Peter Drahos and Gustavo Ghidini

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Edited by Hanns Ullrich, Peter Drahos and Gustavo Ghidini

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Sebastian Schwiddessen and Philipp Karius

So called loot boxes are one of the most important monetization methods for many companies in the video gaming, social gaming and social casino gaming industry. After the global skin betting scandal in 2016 and the 2017 loot-box uproar, loot boxes are now under investigation or even subject to legislative measures in several jurisdictions. Since then, numerous regulatory authorities, politicians and other stake holders have issued statements on the matter. From a legal perspective, loot boxes can touch gambling, youth protection, consumer and even financial laws. Characteristic of the 2017 loot-box debate was a black or white view and people taking extreme positions. In particular, gamers and people not familiar with the subject tend to condemn loot boxes as gambling. However, taking a closer look at selected key jurisdictions shows that the application of gambling laws depends on the jurisdiction and on the exact set up of the loot box mechanism. Furthermore, some questions are not conclusively solved yet – not even in those jurisdictions which are regarded as loot-box safe havens. One of these questions is, for instance, the impact of secondary-market trading of loot-box-generated items. This article evaluates the legal situation of loot boxes from a gambling law perspective in selected jurisdictions.