An Australian user on Reddit has posted a correspondence he had about loot boxes with a representative of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. In it, the government individual confirms that under their current laws, loot boxes and other gaming microtransactions do fall under gambling. We highly recommend checking out the entire post, but below is the most damning part of the response that makes things pretty cut and dry.
Lootbox and “pay to win” set ups are even more nuanced than just being operated from overseas. Imagine if the legislation was read “strictly” and so you and a couple of friends have a poker game in your garage. You play for real money and sometimes other people join and leave. Now this is obviously gambling, however, is it “unauthorised gambling”? The legislation makes clear determination on some products such as Casino games and the like. But I don’t think parliament ever intended for a Compliance Inspector to kick in your garage door and fine you and your buddies for playing ‘texas hold’em’ in your garage. In order for that to happen we would require far more definitive proof and details and identify profits and purpose and a lot of other factors. This would be the steps we would have to take in order to get close to showing that these video game functions are, strictly speaking, Unauthorised… even then, convincing a magistrate in a prosecution would be a whole other nightmare that would probably cost Victorian tax payers way more money than they would be willing to spend.