This analogy is a little shaky. When I buy a pack of cards for Magic: The Gathering, those cards have value outside the game. I can sell the cards to someone, they can accrue monetary value over time, and there's no chance the creators of Magic are going to suddenly shut down the servers that allow me play the game. If I want to buy a particular Magic card, I can hop on eBay and spend to my heart's content. That's not possible with loot boxes, which rely on players pulling the slot machine over and over.A few days later, Wccftech reached out to the ESRB's UK equivalent, the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) organization. PEGI followed in the foosteps of the ESRB, except it put the onus on gambling commissions to make a determination on whether loot boxes are materially different and require regulation:
"ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling. While there's an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don't want). We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you'll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you've had your eye on for a while. But other times you'll end up with a pack of cards you already have."
"In short, our approach is similar to that of ESRB (I think all rating boards do, USK in Germany as well). The main reason for this is that we cannot define what constitutes gambling. That is the responsibility of a national gambling commission. Our gambling content descriptor is given to games that simulate or teach gambling as it's done in real life in casinos, racetracks, etc. If a gambling commission would state that loot boxes are a form of gambling, then we would have to adjust our criteria to that."