Media ReleaseFrom: The Royal Society
Adolescents and loot boxes: Links with problem gambling and motivations for purchase
Loot boxes are items in video games that are bought with real-world money but contain randomised contents. Similarities between loot boxes and gambling have led to concerns that they may form a gateway to problem gambling.
A large-scale preregistered survey (n=1155) found a link between loot box spending and problem gambling amongst older adolescents (η2 = 0.120).
Qualitative analysis showed that adolescents bought loot boxes for several reasons that were similar to motivations for gambling.
These results suggest that loot boxes may either cause problem gambling amongst older adolescents, or allow game companies to profit from young problem gamblers.