Loot boxes do not meet the legal definition of gambling, New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs has told Gamasutra.

Therefore, the DIA added, it has no ability to regulate them under the Gambling Act 2003.

"Gamers do not purchase loot boxes seeking to win money or something that can be converted into money," wrote DIA licensing compliance manager Trish Millward.

"They buy loot boxes so that they can use their contents within the game and thereby have a better gaming experience."

The Gambling Compliance office said that the issue of loot boxes within gaming has been a source of much internal debate, and that it is keeping an eye on the topic.

Loot boxes have been a source of debate in the industry for some time, but attracted the attention of politicians after they were pulled from Star Wars Battlefront II amid massive fan backlash.

It seems that in general, they can't be regulated by current gambling laws, but there's a feeling among some that there needs to be greater regulation in place to protect children and vulnerable adults.

Belgium’s Gaming Commission is a rare government agency that has said loot boxes are gambling, and that it wants to ban them.

Australian government agencies are split on the issue.

The Australian Communications Media Authority, an independent body that regulates and oversees many things including the Interactive Gambling Act, does not believe loot boxes constitute gambling under the Interactive Gambling Act, but it is keeping an eye on things nonetheless.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) disagrees.

"What occurs with "loot boxes" does constitute gambling by the definition of the Victorian Legislation," said VCGLR analyst Jarrod Wolfe.

"Unfortunately where the complexity arises is in jurisdiction and our powers to investigate.

"Legislation has not moved as quick as the technology; at both State and Federal level we are not necessarily equipped to determine the legality of these practices in lieu of the fact the entities responsible are overseas."

Meanwhile, Queensland's statutory regulator said loot boxes would not fall within the meaning of a gaming machine as defined under the Gaming Machine Act.

Elsewhere, the UK Gambling Commission said that loot boxes are only gambling if the player has an ability to "cash out".