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Lootboxes are gambling (Official Statement)

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  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,713
    Just to be clear, paid-for-lootboxes have always been gambling. You pay money, there is an element of chance, and then win/loss rewards. 

    This Belgian ruling simply moves paid-for-lootboxes from the unregulated form of gambling, into the regulated form of gambling, by removing the current loophole regarding a real world value on the reward. 


    To me, this is a great step forwards. Repeated gambling causes serious harm, the reward aspect is almost immaterial as long as it is valued by the player. Lootboxes do cause real harm, just like other forms of gambling, so closing this loophole is really positive. Here's hoping that more countries follow suit and that further loopholes aren't found. Gambling just shouldn't be part of computer games. 
    Asm0deusSlapshot1188
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,297
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    It works too. No one drinks or smokes. This is more like prohibition. That worked out well didn't it.
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,297
    DMKano said:
    mklinic said:
    No, because your example still requires an intermediate activity- you play the game.  You're not buying the loot box, or the item that drops, you're playing the game and the RNG rolls come along with it.  That's an RPG.

    Take out the "playing the game" part, it's a lootbox.
    If we're talking about gambling, then how does this differ from a casino?

    I buy chips (intermediate currency) to go play a game (blackjack for the sake of example) and through some combination of luck + skill, am potentially rewarded with something of value (moar chips!!). So I bought a form of currency and used it to participate in an intermediate activity; I gambled. Except, In this case, I can turn my intermediate currency back into cash.

    If an intermediate activity was all it took to remove the label of gambling, then it's seem like plenty of things we consider gambling now could be re-examined (if just considering this point of view and not additional regulation specific to other venues of course).

    I'm sure that's an overly simplified example, and I have no legislative influence to speak of, but just the way I see it after reading the various back and forth in the thread....


    The difference is a game lootbox always give you something of value in game, where in real gambling losing results in zero value.

    Thats one exploitable loophole right there - lootbox = rng buying, gambling = high chance to lose money and get nothing and low chance of winning 
    No, lootboxes are actually worse, because you never actually own what you win.  It'd be like gambling at a casino with your real money knowing that, no matter how much you win, at the end of the night, it's all gotta be given back to the house.
    You don't own win from the boss loot chest either.
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,297
    Amathe said:
    Damn. Now what do I do with my stockpile of Belgium loot boxes?
    Sell them to Citizen Dick. I hear they're very big in Belgium. :lol:
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,061
    This topic is on page 4 already, and I'm totally flabbergasted that I haven't seen a dozen "I'm moving to Belgium" replies.  If this was some kind of devious ploy to increase immigration to Belgium, I'd say it failed.  :#




    QuizzicalAsm0deus

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,297
    Mendel said:
    This topic is on page 4 already, and I'm totally flabbergasted that I haven't seen a dozen "I'm moving to Belgium" replies.  If this was some kind of devious ploy to increase immigration to Belgium, I'd say it failed.  :#
    Even Hercule Poirot lives in England. :tongue: Maybe Belgium is like Delaware. :lol:
    Mendel
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    Torval said:
    DMKano said:
    mklinic said:
    No, because your example still requires an intermediate activity- you play the game.  You're not buying the loot box, or the item that drops, you're playing the game and the RNG rolls come along with it.  That's an RPG.

    Take out the "playing the game" part, it's a lootbox.
    If we're talking about gambling, then how does this differ from a casino?

    I buy chips (intermediate currency) to go play a game (blackjack for the sake of example) and through some combination of luck + skill, am potentially rewarded with something of value (moar chips!!). So I bought a form of currency and used it to participate in an intermediate activity; I gambled. Except, In this case, I can turn my intermediate currency back into cash.

    If an intermediate activity was all it took to remove the label of gambling, then it's seem like plenty of things we consider gambling now could be re-examined (if just considering this point of view and not additional regulation specific to other venues of course).

    I'm sure that's an overly simplified example, and I have no legislative influence to speak of, but just the way I see it after reading the various back and forth in the thread....


    The difference is a game lootbox always give you something of value in game, where in real gambling losing results in zero value.

    Thats one exploitable loophole right there - lootbox = rng buying, gambling = high chance to lose money and get nothing and low chance of winning 
    No, lootboxes are actually worse, because you never actually own what you win.  It'd be like gambling at a casino with your real money knowing that, no matter how much you win, at the end of the night, it's all gotta be given back to the house.
    You don't own win from the boss loot chest either.
    No, but you're not paying for the loot roll.  You're paying for the gameplay experience associated with the boss fight and any other PvE content associated with it.
    Asm0deus

    image
  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Member RarePosts: 2,094
    edited May 2018
    This is, to me, mainly about updating a law to help catch up with technology.  As well as archaic descriptions of what gambling is, and how virtual worlds and currencies are described and understood as.

    It was inevitable ever since Second Life and similar games official sold real estate in the virtual world and loopholes like saying "this has no real world vale" are being targeted.

    Implementing the sciences of gambling and releasing the chemicals into the brain thereof is as much a part of gambling as "real money."  In fact, it is more so:  What do you hear from someone who goes to Los Vegas and is told that they'll likely lose money?  "I don't care.  It's the experience of gambling that I'm after."  Or some such.  The thrill.  The random chance to potentially get something additional is there.  The same goes with virtual lootboxes.  Except they take all of the fun out of it -- the travel, the drinks, the people, the sites... basically the memories you form and the hungover regret of the morning... and then just get you to pay real world money for something they or others say has no real world value by using the same principles of flashing lights, minor rewards and the potential of something you might like.  The thrill of it.  This is still preying on that thrill, and the fact that we're especially concerned about minors when it comes to this is more than just a little telling.  They who don't know withstraint with real money for something that supposedly isn't worth real money... but historically has been and is still being sold for real money.

    First and foremost that's poppycock.  It has value the moment someone agrees to pay for the chance to get something.  Otherwise nothing has value if you aren't willing to pay for it.  You have heard the phrase "increasing the value of my account" many times, I'd imagine.  People paying exorbitant prices for virtual items.  These accounts have value no matter what anyone says, even if they're locked in ownership.  An account that has paid enough to have everything unlocked is more valuable and worth more than a fresh account that someone just bought.  If one has an option to get an account with everything unlocked over a fresh one, it is obvious what most will pick.

    But I do understand the ramifications of going about this in the wrong ways.  As well as companies just moving onto new ways of scamming money out of people.  The potential irrelevance as a whole in fixing one thing only to find another has popped up.  Along with new issues that a new ruling gives that weren't thought of or made exceptions with at the time.  They may even have to define terms that were otherwise ambiguous in the past just to use as reference in this.
    Asm0deuscameltosis
    Due to frequent travel in my youth, English isn't something I consider my primary language (and thus I obtained quirky ways of writing).  German and French were always easier for me despite my family being U.S. citizens for over a century.  Spanish I learned as a requirement in school, Japanese and Korean I acquired for my youthful desire of anime and gaming (and also work now).  I only debate in English to help me work with it (and limit things).  In addition, I'm not smart enough to remain fluent in everything and typically need exposure to get in the groove of things again if I haven't heard it in a while.  If you understand Mandarin, I know a little, but it has actually been a challenge and could use some help.

    Also, I thoroughly enjoy debates and have accounts on over a dozen sites for this.  If you wish to engage in such, please put effort in a post and provide sources -- I will then do the same with what I already wrote (if I didn't) as well as with my responses to your own.  Expanding my information on a subject makes my stance either change or strengthen the next time I speak of it or write a thesis.  Allow me to thank you sincerely for your time.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 14,693
    Stepping back for a minute from the legal and moral aspects of the gambling mechanics, the thing I hate the most about these loot crates is that being as lucrative as they are for the sellers, any game that has them - especially the ones that have them that are "just cosmetic" - spend an inordinate amount of time developing this shit at the expense of development for the actual game play.

    I've seen this happen in ESO with the incredible proliferation of new looks for mounts and outfit styles - many of those loot crate exclusives. A large portion of every new update is all about that. They're even introducing new outfit looks in the crown shop with Summerset that are not even crafting styles... just outfit looks.

    Say what you will about this stuff but from the perspective of that shrinking portion of the player base that wants to quest, PvE, explore and PvP, this second-life like shit does nothing to make game play better.

    And to that increasing portion of the population that mostly just wants to dress-up, it's a disrespectful way to sell them a chance to get what they actually want. These are the players that will spend and spend because the stuff in those crates actually matters to them.

    Now carry on with your prognostications about how things will change in the future... or not :)
    Asm0deusMendelTorvalcameltosis
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,317
    edited May 2018
    This is, to me, mainly about updating a law to help catch up with technology.  As well as archaic descriptions of what gambling is, and how virtual worlds and currencies are described and understood as.

    ...snip...
    Indeed fully agree and I have said as much on other threads about this topic!

    I also agree with what Iselin has just said about how many games with lootboxes seems to spend far too much time working on lootboxes rather than actual content.



    Just wanted to say I am impressed with everyone participating in this thread as of now we are on page 4 and while the topic can be a hot button issue and we don't all agree on things we are all discussing this quite civilly without any rants, raves or hissy fits and personal attacks, tis a nice change from the usual!

    :smiley:
    Mendel

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • Superman0XSuperman0X Member RarePosts: 2,221
    Superman0X said:
    Superman0X said:
    Are there really no other ways for gaming companies to make money than by randomizing what people are buying?  If it’s such a great model why hasn’t it moved to all other aspects of society?  Why dont we just buy McBoxes at McDonalds that contain random food items?  Just costs $0.25 a box. Or maybe buy a drink for $1 but get a McBox free.  Some will only have 2 fries, some might only have lettuce or a slice of tomato, but some will have Deluxe Chicken sandwiches worth $5!!  It’s not gambling because you actually “win” something each time (by the logic of some)

    It hasn’t spread because it’s simply not acceptable.  It snuck into gaming, and insidiously has taken over like a virus that finds a host with no natural defenses. Who in their right mind doesn’t want to know what they are buying?

    We can do better. 

    Is this law going to be a silver bullet?  No...  but it’s a step.  It’s an acknowledgement that this is wrong, and even if it ends up being flawed it’s an attempt to let companies know that this is simply not acceptable to society.


     The reason that gaming companies use randomization is because of the rarity of items, and the extreme value that this rarity causes.  It does not work for McDonalds, because they do not have items with value based on rarity, their item values are based on cost.

    This is not a new law.. this is an interpretation of an existing law... and one that will be challenged. However, in the short term it will cause a lot of quick on the fly changes, that will likely not be friendly to the customer.
    The rarity is 100% self manufactured by the company. 
    That is correct. It is also how the company makes money.  Just look at the diamond industry, they only exist because they can artificially inflate the rarity of diamonds.
    Sure but when I buy a diamond I buy the exact cut, carat, clarity and color I want.  I don’t get one at random.
    The diamond market sells you an overpriced item directly, because they have a well established falsehood that no one is challenging. The gaming market is not like that, so they obscure the high price of the item by using randomization.
    Torval
  • Superman0XSuperman0X Member RarePosts: 2,221
    edited May 2018
    Quizzical said:
    Why do companies sell loot boxes?  Because people buy so many of them.  Why do people buy so many of them?  The same reason people buy so many lottery tickets.  People tend to overestimate very small probabilities.  That's just one particular way that a lot of people are stupid.
    1. To obscure the high price of the chase items.
    2. To provide lower value items in a volume that would not normally be purchased.

    Torval
  • TamanousTamanous Member RarePosts: 2,997
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
    cheyane

    You stay sassy!

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,297
    Iselin said:
    Stepping back for a minute from the legal and moral aspects of the gambling mechanics, the thing I hate the most about these loot crates is that being as lucrative as they are for the sellers, any game that has them - especially the ones that have them that are "just cosmetic" - spend an inordinate amount of time developing this shit at the expense of development for the actual game play.

    I've seen this happen in ESO with the incredible proliferation of new looks for mounts and outfit styles - many of those loot crate exclusives. A large portion of every new update is all about that. They're even introducing new outfit looks in the crown shop with Summerset that are not even crafting styles... just outfit looks.

    Say what you will about this stuff but from the perspective of that shrinking portion of the player base that wants to quest, PvE, explore and PvP, this second-life like shit does nothing to make game play better.

    And to that increasing portion of the population that mostly just wants to dress-up, it's a disrespectful way to sell them a chance to get what they actually want. These are the players that will spend and spend because the stuff in those crates actually matters to them.

    Now carry on with your prognostications about how things will change in the future... or not :)
    That is what pisses me off most. The things I used to play for in MMOs are all in the cash shop now so they can advertise "no p2w". Epeeners don't care as long as they can play the game free or cheaper.

    The second life people don't mind spending that stupid amount of money in the cash shop. They do it in SL. The esports tryhards don't care because they're too pro for dressup. It's the RPG players and traditional mmo players that get boned. Not only is my gameplay in the cash shop, I get to help subsidize the game for people who don't give a shit about RPG quality.

    Why this Belgium push will fail I think is for the same reasons publishers haven't been able to rid themselves of gold farmers or the perpetually toxic asshats. It's a moving target. Studios and pubs will suffle all this around. The easily placated will rah and cheer while we get screwed in more insidious ways.

    I'm waiting for the "crypto mining in the game client" craze to take off. It'll make Denuvo look like a portable app. Hopefully that will fizzle.
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • cheyanecheyane Member LegendaryPosts: 7,425
    Tamanous said:
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
    Lewis Caroll always loved it
    Chamber of Chains
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 14,693
    Torval said:
    Iselin said:
    Stepping back for a minute from the legal and moral aspects of the gambling mechanics, the thing I hate the most about these loot crates is that being as lucrative as they are for the sellers, any game that has them - especially the ones that have them that are "just cosmetic" - spend an inordinate amount of time developing this shit at the expense of development for the actual game play.

    I've seen this happen in ESO with the incredible proliferation of new looks for mounts and outfit styles - many of those loot crate exclusives. A large portion of every new update is all about that. They're even introducing new outfit looks in the crown shop with Summerset that are not even crafting styles... just outfit looks.

    Say what you will about this stuff but from the perspective of that shrinking portion of the player base that wants to quest, PvE, explore and PvP, this second-life like shit does nothing to make game play better.

    And to that increasing portion of the population that mostly just wants to dress-up, it's a disrespectful way to sell them a chance to get what they actually want. These are the players that will spend and spend because the stuff in those crates actually matters to them.

    Now carry on with your prognostications about how things will change in the future... or not :)
    That is what pisses me off most. The things I used to play for in MMOs are all in the cash shop now so they can advertise "no p2w". Epeeners don't care as long as they can play the game free or cheaper.

    The second life people don't mind spending that stupid amount of money in the cash shop. They do it in SL. The esports tryhards don't care because they're too pro for dressup. It's the RPG players and traditional mmo players that get boned. Not only is my gameplay in the cash shop, I get to help subsidize the game for people who don't give a shit about RPG quality.

    Why this Belgium push will fail I think is for the same reasons publishers haven't been able to rid themselves of gold farmers or the perpetually toxic asshats. It's a moving target. Studios and pubs will suffle all this around. The easily placated will rah and cheer while we get screwed in more insidious ways.

    I'm waiting for the "crypto mining in the game client" craze to take off. It'll make Denuvo look like a portable app. Hopefully that will fizzle.
    These days I understate my enjoyment of getting a rare mount or outfit simply because most games have just gone over the top with the sheer quantity and dumped most of it in the cash shop. I like earning that stuff in games and in WOW I remember being proud of earning my bear that I got (as I recall, I might be mis-remembering) from killing all the horde leaders in PvP raids on their capital cities or a dragon in the Outland that was very hard to get, or a rare purplish bird that was an extremely rare RNG loot drop in Strangelthorn.

    In the correct proportion this adds to the game play and is fun. The problem with cash-shop / loot-crate games is not just that they carve those things out of the game in order to sell it to you for extra $$, it's that they have an incentive to over-do it by several orders of magnitude making them all more trivial and annoying than anything else.
    TorvalAethaeryn
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    edited May 2018
    Torval said:
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    It works too. No one drinks or smokes. This is more like prohibition. That worked out well didn't it.
    It does, actually.  The extra taxes collected for cigarettes and booze are there to help recoup the costs to society of a member engaging in a destructive act.  Not unlike paying tolls to use roads so the government can ensure the road is maintained well.  The actions of the citizen (driving that road repeatedly) costs the government (in turn, society) money due to wear and tear.  The toll provides an avenue for the government to make up for that.  Same with taxing booze and alcohol.

    Taxation of dangerous/destructive/costly activities is actually a win-win for society, whether folks wanna believe it or not.  It's not an outright ban and destruction of a freedom, but it ensures that those activities are discouraged and, if they are undertaken, it looks to recoup the costs to society.

    Taxation is nice because it doesn't take away a freedom, but it can still be used to discourage dangerous activities that the government has deemed to hold very little benefit to society at large.

    EDIT- that concept can be seen applied elsewhere, too.  There's ideas that have floated in D.C. about requiring accidental death/dismemberment insurance for any gun owners.  It imparts more responsibility on the gun owner to secure their items (guns locked away in safes could be insured at a discount, for instance), and provides a safety net for society should you or someone that stole your gun go on a shooting spree.

    image
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,379
    Torval said:
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    It works too. No one drinks or smokes. This is more like prohibition. That worked out well didn't it.
    It does, actually.  The extra taxes collected for cigarettes and booze are there to help recoup the costs to society of a member engaging in a destructive act.  Not unlike paying tolls to use roads so the government can ensure the road is maintained well.  The actions of the citizen (driving that road repeatedly) costs the government (in turn, society) money due to wear and tear.  The toll provides an avenue for the government to make up for that.  Same with taxing booze and alcohol.

    Taxation of dangerous/destructive/costly activities is actually a win-win for society, whether folks wanna believe it or not.  It's not an outright ban and destruction of a freedom, but it ensures that those activities are discouraged and, if they are undertaken, it looks to recoup the costs to society.

    Taxation is nice because it doesn't take away a freedom, but it can still be used to discourage dangerous activities that the government has deemed to hold very little benefit to society at large.

    EDIT- that concept can be seen applied elsewhere, too.  There's ideas that have floated in D.C. about requiring accidental death/dismemberment insurance for any gun owners.  It imparts more responsibility on the gun owner to secure their items (guns locked away in safes could be insured at a discount, for instance), and provides a safety net for society should you or someone that stole your gun go on a shooting spree.
    People smoking actually saves the government money, quite apart from the taxes.  Smokers tend to die younger, and thus collect massively less money in Social Security.  That overwhelms the increased health care expenditures.  And even if the government paying for health care for smokers were the issue (which it isn't), it would be a simple enough matter to refuse to pay for health care for smokers who get diseases such as lung cancer or emphysema that tend to be brought on by smoking.

    The reason there are high taxes on cigarettes in most states is that it's a politically popular tax.  The primary reason for this is that while most people won't admit it, their basic philosophy of taxes is, as one politician put it decades ago, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind a tree".  The most popular taxes are the ones that you and your friends don't pay but someone else does.  Most people don't smoke and thus know that a cigarette tax will bring in a lot of money without them personally having to pay it.

    Some people may rationalize their support for a tax on cigarettes as being that smoking should be discouraged because it's unhealthy.  But if that were all that went into it, we'd see the same support for that tax among smokers as non-smokers.  We'd also expect to see people support high taxes on the unhealthy things that they personally do or consume or whatever.  But to the extent that anyone bothers to propose a junk food tax, it's generally very narrowly targeted at only a tiny slice of unhealthy foods and also pretty unpopular.
    [Deleted User]Torval
  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,919
    Quizzical said:
    Torval said:
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    It works too. No one drinks or smokes. This is more like prohibition. That worked out well didn't it.
    It does, actually.  The extra taxes collected for cigarettes and booze are there to help recoup the costs to society of a member engaging in a destructive act.  Not unlike paying tolls to use roads so the government can ensure the road is maintained well.  The actions of the citizen (driving that road repeatedly) costs the government (in turn, society) money due to wear and tear.  The toll provides an avenue for the government to make up for that.  Same with taxing booze and alcohol.

    Taxation of dangerous/destructive/costly activities is actually a win-win for society, whether folks wanna believe it or not.  It's not an outright ban and destruction of a freedom, but it ensures that those activities are discouraged and, if they are undertaken, it looks to recoup the costs to society.

    Taxation is nice because it doesn't take away a freedom, but it can still be used to discourage dangerous activities that the government has deemed to hold very little benefit to society at large.

    EDIT- that concept can be seen applied elsewhere, too.  There's ideas that have floated in D.C. about requiring accidental death/dismemberment insurance for any gun owners.  It imparts more responsibility on the gun owner to secure their items (guns locked away in safes could be insured at a discount, for instance), and provides a safety net for society should you or someone that stole your gun go on a shooting spree.
    People smoking actually saves the government money, quite apart from the taxes.  Smokers tend to die younger, and thus collect massively less money in Social Security.  That overwhelms the increased health care expenditures.  And even if the government paying for health care for smokers were the issue (which it isn't), it would be a simple enough matter to refuse to pay for health care for smokers who get diseases such as lung cancer or emphysema that tend to be brought on by smoking.

    The reason there are high taxes on cigarettes in most states is that it's a politically popular tax.  The primary reason for this is that while most people won't admit it, their basic philosophy of taxes is, as one politician put it decades ago, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind a tree".  The most popular taxes are the ones that you and your friends don't pay but someone else does.  Most people don't smoke and thus know that a cigarette tax will bring in a lot of money without them personally having to pay it.

    Some people may rationalize their support for a tax on cigarettes as being that smoking should be discouraged because it's unhealthy.  But if that were all that went into it, we'd see the same support for that tax among smokers as non-smokers.  We'd also expect to see people support high taxes on the unhealthy things that they personally do or consume or whatever.  But to the extent that anyone bothers to propose a junk food tax, it's generally very narrowly targeted at only a tiny slice of unhealthy foods and also pretty unpopular.
    This doesn't factor in the impact of "secondary smoking" - people who do not smoke becoming "ill" as a result of inhaling someone elses smoke. So a single smoker could make many people ill but not enough to shorten their life expectancy sufficiently to see a saving etc. Population density will be a factor as well.

    This is also a worldwide site so it may be that governments do pay - or that private health care is compulsory like Switzerland say. Very different models of uniersal coverage but both would be / are impacted.  

    The rights of non-smokers who may not like secondary smoke - quite apart from wanting to avoid increasing their risk of getting ill - is another factor.


    And some of these issues apply to "gambling" of course. Needs of the many vs. needs of the few etc.
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,602
    Quizzical said:
    Torval said:
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    It works too. No one drinks or smokes. This is more like prohibition. That worked out well didn't it.
    It does, actually.  The extra taxes collected for cigarettes and booze are there to help recoup the costs to society of a member engaging in a destructive act.  Not unlike paying tolls to use roads so the government can ensure the road is maintained well.  The actions of the citizen (driving that road repeatedly) costs the government (in turn, society) money due to wear and tear.  The toll provides an avenue for the government to make up for that.  Same with taxing booze and alcohol.

    Taxation of dangerous/destructive/costly activities is actually a win-win for society, whether folks wanna believe it or not.  It's not an outright ban and destruction of a freedom, but it ensures that those activities are discouraged and, if they are undertaken, it looks to recoup the costs to society.

    Taxation is nice because it doesn't take away a freedom, but it can still be used to discourage dangerous activities that the government has deemed to hold very little benefit to society at large.

    EDIT- that concept can be seen applied elsewhere, too.  There's ideas that have floated in D.C. about requiring accidental death/dismemberment insurance for any gun owners.  It imparts more responsibility on the gun owner to secure their items (guns locked away in safes could be insured at a discount, for instance), and provides a safety net for society should you or someone that stole your gun go on a shooting spree.
    People smoking actually saves the government money, quite apart from the taxes.  Smokers tend to die younger, and thus collect massively less money in Social Security.  That overwhelms the increased health care expenditures.  And even if the government paying for health care for smokers were the issue (which it isn't), it would be a simple enough matter to refuse to pay for health care for smokers who get diseases such as lung cancer or emphysema that tend to be brought on by smoking.

    The reason there are high taxes on cigarettes in most states is that it's a politically popular tax.  The primary reason for this is that while most people won't admit it, their basic philosophy of taxes is, as one politician put it decades ago, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind a tree".  The most popular taxes are the ones that you and your friends don't pay but someone else does.  Most people don't smoke and thus know that a cigarette tax will bring in a lot of money without them personally having to pay it.

    Some people may rationalize their support for a tax on cigarettes as being that smoking should be discouraged because it's unhealthy.  But if that were all that went into it, we'd see the same support for that tax among smokers as non-smokers.  We'd also expect to see people support high taxes on the unhealthy things that they personally do or consume or whatever.  But to the extent that anyone bothers to propose a junk food tax, it's generally very narrowly targeted at only a tiny slice of unhealthy foods and also pretty unpopular.
    The problem with taxing fast foods is where to draw the line.

    For example some years ago Finland tried to tax soft drinks based on health reasons. The result was that I had to pay that tax for porridge with blueberry soup because the blueberry soup technically filled all the criteria of a soft drink.

    Alcohol and tobacco are easy tax, whereas a tax on fast food will always produce some queer results.
     
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,379
    gervaise1 said:
    Quizzical said:
    Torval said:
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    It works too. No one drinks or smokes. This is more like prohibition. That worked out well didn't it.
    It does, actually.  The extra taxes collected for cigarettes and booze are there to help recoup the costs to society of a member engaging in a destructive act.  Not unlike paying tolls to use roads so the government can ensure the road is maintained well.  The actions of the citizen (driving that road repeatedly) costs the government (in turn, society) money due to wear and tear.  The toll provides an avenue for the government to make up for that.  Same with taxing booze and alcohol.

    Taxation of dangerous/destructive/costly activities is actually a win-win for society, whether folks wanna believe it or not.  It's not an outright ban and destruction of a freedom, but it ensures that those activities are discouraged and, if they are undertaken, it looks to recoup the costs to society.

    Taxation is nice because it doesn't take away a freedom, but it can still be used to discourage dangerous activities that the government has deemed to hold very little benefit to society at large.

    EDIT- that concept can be seen applied elsewhere, too.  There's ideas that have floated in D.C. about requiring accidental death/dismemberment insurance for any gun owners.  It imparts more responsibility on the gun owner to secure their items (guns locked away in safes could be insured at a discount, for instance), and provides a safety net for society should you or someone that stole your gun go on a shooting spree.
    People smoking actually saves the government money, quite apart from the taxes.  Smokers tend to die younger, and thus collect massively less money in Social Security.  That overwhelms the increased health care expenditures.  And even if the government paying for health care for smokers were the issue (which it isn't), it would be a simple enough matter to refuse to pay for health care for smokers who get diseases such as lung cancer or emphysema that tend to be brought on by smoking.

    The reason there are high taxes on cigarettes in most states is that it's a politically popular tax.  The primary reason for this is that while most people won't admit it, their basic philosophy of taxes is, as one politician put it decades ago, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind a tree".  The most popular taxes are the ones that you and your friends don't pay but someone else does.  Most people don't smoke and thus know that a cigarette tax will bring in a lot of money without them personally having to pay it.

    Some people may rationalize their support for a tax on cigarettes as being that smoking should be discouraged because it's unhealthy.  But if that were all that went into it, we'd see the same support for that tax among smokers as non-smokers.  We'd also expect to see people support high taxes on the unhealthy things that they personally do or consume or whatever.  But to the extent that anyone bothers to propose a junk food tax, it's generally very narrowly targeted at only a tiny slice of unhealthy foods and also pretty unpopular.
    This doesn't factor in the impact of "secondary smoking" - people who do not smoke becoming "ill" as a result of inhaling someone elses smoke. So a single smoker could make many people ill but not enough to shorten their life expectancy sufficiently to see a saving etc. Population density will be a factor as well.

    This is also a worldwide site so it may be that governments do pay - or that private health care is compulsory like Switzerland say. Very different models of uniersal coverage but both would be / are impacted.  

    The rights of non-smokers who may not like secondary smoke - quite apart from wanting to avoid increasing their risk of getting ill - is another factor.


    And some of these issues apply to "gambling" of course. Needs of the many vs. needs of the few etc.
    Secondhand smoke is pretty inconsequential unless you inhale a lot of it.  Decades ago, when it was common for people to smoke at work, a non-smoker might get a ton of secondhand smoke basically as a requirement of doing his job.  Today, that's really only the case with a handful of jobs in establishments that cater to smokers--jobs of the sort that a non-smoker should avoid.  Secondhand smoke can still be an issue for people who live with smokers, but apart from children, that's still a choice to a considerable degree.

    I don't know how generous the health care expenditures and retirement programs in other countries are, but I think that it tends to be the case that:

    1)  Many other countries spend more per capita on their equivalent of Social Security, due to higher life expectancy (which among developed nations, is driven primarily by diet, exercise, and smoking, not health care), lower retirement ages (it's 67 in the United States), and generally more generous welfare programs.  I might be wrong about this however.

    2)  Pretty much all other countries spend less per capita on health care for older people than the US.  The US government actually spends more per capita on health care than a lot of countries that have full socialized medicine.  The high health care expenditures in the US are driven primarily by an unwillingness to cut off expensive treatments for people who are probably going to die anyway.  About 1/3 of health care expenditures in the US are within 6 months of the patient dying.  They're secondarily driven by higher drug prices in the US due to the lack of price controls here.  Other countries mostly free-ride on the US paying for drug development by imposing price controls or even threats to invalidate patents entirely to prevent drug companies from making much profit on selling the drugs in their country.  If the US tried to do likewise, there wouldn't be very much development of new medicines because there wouldn't be money to be made in doing so.

    If smoking saves the US government money because the savings from shortened life expectancy outweighs the increased medical costs, then it would probably save most or all other developed countries more money due to reduced medical cost savings and sometimes greater retirement savings from shortened life expectancy.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,379
    Vrika said:
    Quizzical said:
    Torval said:
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    It works too. No one drinks or smokes. This is more like prohibition. That worked out well didn't it.
    It does, actually.  The extra taxes collected for cigarettes and booze are there to help recoup the costs to society of a member engaging in a destructive act.  Not unlike paying tolls to use roads so the government can ensure the road is maintained well.  The actions of the citizen (driving that road repeatedly) costs the government (in turn, society) money due to wear and tear.  The toll provides an avenue for the government to make up for that.  Same with taxing booze and alcohol.

    Taxation of dangerous/destructive/costly activities is actually a win-win for society, whether folks wanna believe it or not.  It's not an outright ban and destruction of a freedom, but it ensures that those activities are discouraged and, if they are undertaken, it looks to recoup the costs to society.

    Taxation is nice because it doesn't take away a freedom, but it can still be used to discourage dangerous activities that the government has deemed to hold very little benefit to society at large.

    EDIT- that concept can be seen applied elsewhere, too.  There's ideas that have floated in D.C. about requiring accidental death/dismemberment insurance for any gun owners.  It imparts more responsibility on the gun owner to secure their items (guns locked away in safes could be insured at a discount, for instance), and provides a safety net for society should you or someone that stole your gun go on a shooting spree.
    People smoking actually saves the government money, quite apart from the taxes.  Smokers tend to die younger, and thus collect massively less money in Social Security.  That overwhelms the increased health care expenditures.  And even if the government paying for health care for smokers were the issue (which it isn't), it would be a simple enough matter to refuse to pay for health care for smokers who get diseases such as lung cancer or emphysema that tend to be brought on by smoking.

    The reason there are high taxes on cigarettes in most states is that it's a politically popular tax.  The primary reason for this is that while most people won't admit it, their basic philosophy of taxes is, as one politician put it decades ago, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind a tree".  The most popular taxes are the ones that you and your friends don't pay but someone else does.  Most people don't smoke and thus know that a cigarette tax will bring in a lot of money without them personally having to pay it.

    Some people may rationalize their support for a tax on cigarettes as being that smoking should be discouraged because it's unhealthy.  But if that were all that went into it, we'd see the same support for that tax among smokers as non-smokers.  We'd also expect to see people support high taxes on the unhealthy things that they personally do or consume or whatever.  But to the extent that anyone bothers to propose a junk food tax, it's generally very narrowly targeted at only a tiny slice of unhealthy foods and also pretty unpopular.
    The problem with taxing fast foods is where to draw the line.

    For example some years ago Finland tried to tax soft drinks based on health reasons. The result was that I had to pay that tax for porridge with blueberry soup because the blueberry soup technically filled all the criteria of a soft drink.

    Alcohol and tobacco are easy tax, whereas a tax on fast food will always produce some queer results.
    If it's done for health reasons, there's no need to make artificial categories of foods.  You could more directly tax fat, sugar, sodium, or whatever it is that you decide is unhealthy above a certain percentage of calories.
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,602
    edited May 2018
    Quizzical said:
    Vrika said:
    Quizzical said:

    People smoking actually saves the government money, quite apart from the taxes.  Smokers tend to die younger, and thus collect massively less money in Social Security.  That overwhelms the increased health care expenditures.  And even if the government paying for health care for smokers were the issue (which it isn't), it would be a simple enough matter to refuse to pay for health care for smokers who get diseases such as lung cancer or emphysema that tend to be brought on by smoking.

    The reason there are high taxes on cigarettes in most states is that it's a politically popular tax.  The primary reason for this is that while most people won't admit it, their basic philosophy of taxes is, as one politician put it decades ago, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind a tree".  The most popular taxes are the ones that you and your friends don't pay but someone else does.  Most people don't smoke and thus know that a cigarette tax will bring in a lot of money without them personally having to pay it.

    Some people may rationalize their support for a tax on cigarettes as being that smoking should be discouraged because it's unhealthy.  But if that were all that went into it, we'd see the same support for that tax among smokers as non-smokers.  We'd also expect to see people support high taxes on the unhealthy things that they personally do or consume or whatever.  But to the extent that anyone bothers to propose a junk food tax, it's generally very narrowly targeted at only a tiny slice of unhealthy foods and also pretty unpopular.
    The problem with taxing fast foods is where to draw the line.

    For example some years ago Finland tried to tax soft drinks based on health reasons. The result was that I had to pay that tax for porridge with blueberry soup because the blueberry soup technically filled all the criteria of a soft drink.

    Alcohol and tobacco are easy tax, whereas a tax on fast food will always produce some queer results.
    If it's done for health reasons, there's no need to make artificial categories of foods.  You could more directly tax fat, sugar, sodium, or whatever it is that you decide is unhealthy above a certain percentage of calories.
    Taxing based on sodium would make meat healthier than fish.

    Taxing based on percentage of calories would make a hamburger that has too much fat, carbohydrates and some proteins healthy because its problem is too much energy in general rather than too much energy in any single form.

    If you taxed based on weight or volume of the food, without categories, that would make coke healthy because all drinks contain a lot less energy than foods.


    It would be possible to device a taxation that works most of the time, but no matter how you'd do it you'd always have some unintended consequences.
     
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,317
    edited May 2018
    Quizzical said:
    ...snip....
    Secondhand smoke is pretty inconsequential unless you inhale a lot of it.  Decades ago, when it was common for people to smoke at work, a non-smoker might get a ton of secondhand smoke basically as a requirement of doing his job.  Today, that's really only the case with a handful of jobs in establishments that cater to smokers--jobs of the sort that a non-smoker should avoid.  Secondhand smoke can still be an issue for people who live with smokers, but apart from children, that's still a choice to a considerable degree.

    ...snip....
    Sorry but no.  I am from Canada it's very well known second hand smoke is quite dangerous to the point there are laws making smoking illegal in restaurants, bars etc etc and if you go outside you need to be so far away from any entrances.

    As an ex smoker I can tell you just the no smoking in bars makes a huge huge difference in your health both immediate and long term.

    Anyways I think you guys are getting a little far out in left field when it comes to the topic at hand....lol




    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • KabulozoKabulozo Member RarePosts: 932
    edited May 2018
    If they don't find an alternative way to profit, they have the choice not to offer their sevices on the said countries. Pull the plug and leave. Not an issue if you have VPN. To circumvent any block.
This discussion has been closed.