"Loot boxes" in video games are attracting (gambling) regulatory interest in various jurisdictions. The Gambling Commission in Great Britain took a close look at virtual items, skins betting, esports, virtual currency and social gaming in 2016/17. It reached a sensible conclusion on loot boxes, taking the view that, provided the virtual items acquired remain "in game", they are unlikely to constitute "gambling". Essentially, they view it as the same as freemium social gaming: no prize in "money or money's worth". It is important to remember that these games are subject to consumer law regulation in any event. Gambling regulation would be disproportionate and inappropriate.
A key factor in deciding if that line has been crossed is whether in-game items acquired ‘via a game of chance’ can be considered money or money’s worth. In practical terms this means that where in-game items obtained via loot boxes are confined for use within the game and cannot be cashed out it is unlikely to be caught as a licensable gambling activity.