Legal Argument – Magic the Gathering is Gambling

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Comments

Kwasi Williams says:

Remember when you lost a card for losing a game? Now that was gambling!

Mind of Gerinth says:

1- ante is gambling that is why wotc stopped printing cards with the mechanic and banned all cards dealing with it from sanctioned play, they have said as much.

2- booster packs are like gambling but allowed because even if you don’t pull a super rare card you can still play with the cards you pull so it isn’t a jackpot or nothing situation.
3- judges should be considered employees.

Wassermelonen Eistee says:

Boosterpacks are lottery(even if you always get something it might be worthless) and a tournament (where you pay) is gambling.

ThisNameIsBanned says:

“random” product is always very very close to gambling, especially with a 2ndary market that puts a price tag on cards.

However, in almost any country so far you find a regulation to keep it running.

You have to declare the odds of “premium” cards in your products since Baseball cards invoked that problem.

Playing “directly” for money cash prizes is not allowed in a bunch of countries, so that has an effect on tournaments that would pay in cash (so they cannot and pay in product or services like a flight to a tournament etc.).

In the end you always get what you pay for in money. If the product does not include all the stated product you can reclaim it. Damaged product you can send back, but its mostly on the stores that sell the cards and not on WotC that produce that stuff (but stores can also reclaim the money from defective products, but usually wont bother).

Then theres the deal that “booster” packs arent just sold to open them for cards. They are material to play in actual drafts and the random aspect is necessary for the game to be played as it is.

Magic is very close to gambling, but like almost any other “random” product it walks on the edge what the laws perceive as gambling and if something is off they can re-adjust (like ante is no longer supported and germany not paying out money).
If you buy cards, you really just buy “random” cards from booster packs, thats what the product states it is and thats what you pay for and in that vacuum for WotC all cards are worth the same, and thats why they so badly want to stay separate from the 2ndary market, as they are required to run business the way they do.

Bill Cravens says:

For someone with a legal background this is an incredibly flimsy argument. I’m not saying there isn’t a nugget of truth to your argument but I was expecting something more tangible.

GEM Max says:

Wait until Jace is UN-UN-ban from modern in August.

Snarky Arts says:

Random packs are exactly like gambling. Other card games have moved to a model where every expansion set contains one of (or a playset of) every card in the set. This would completely eliminate the gambling aspect and ensure wotc still sells plenty of boxes.

Hiddenkeymaster3 says:

Also, the magic demographic at least is stores around my area is much older now than it has been in the past.

Asfera says:

Magic isn’t gambling like a scratch ticket as once you open a pack regardless of value you still have 15 useable cards… it’s more like loot crates where you hope to get a good item.

Side not. The issue is reprints. Remove reprints and create new content and you remove all aspects of gambling

Asfera says:

If a pack contains 15 new never before printed cards it’s not gambling. But once you add a card that is reprinted it is now gambling. The variance is reprinting is gambling

SasukeX53 says:

While I do see it more of a lotteryish, I do not think this is gambling. Gambling implies that you pay and if you win you get big prizes, if you lose, you get nothing at all. With mtg you pay for packs and you still get a prize, the cards given in packs. If a person is selling cards they get then to them it would be gambling cause they are playing with chance to get a big priced card to sell and make a very small profit (depends on card and set).

Loot crate is different since loot crates will always in a high probability give you copies of the same low rate item/ duplicate items and in a sense getting nothing, while mtg you still get a physical card that has a use in one of the different formats someone plays. Loot crates however do not give you another use for the item you get, nothing physical or anything.

The majority of people who opens packs are doing so to….Play Magic. The majority of people is not trying to make some profit/value in selling cards.

Now ante may be part of magic history but it isn’t in the current blocks of standard and therefor not in practice. If someone is playing in modern or what ever format that would allow the ante and is using an ante card, I would imagine that the player witnessing and playing in that match has the full option of not partaking in that effect and just stop playing that round all together and announce to the opposing player that they are not doing that. So its not like a binding contract that forces players to follow that ante mechanic.

least that’s my opinion.

red ryno says:

It is an addiction.

Dando K says:

So does that mean all card game based tournaments are gambling? (In a technical sense.)

Hiddenkeymaster3 says:

The thing is opening packs are gambling/loot crates, but playing the game with a deck or decks you already own is not gambling in my mind. I never open packs besides drafting/prereleases, which I only do at set releases and only buy singles for decks. Also, ante has been banned for years. But you are right that the Judge Program should be under Wizards of the Coast.

Barnett Bairan says:

The intention of the person buying the booster packs plays a major role in determining whether he is gambling or not. For opening booster packs to be an act of gambling, the primary intention of the person in question would have be to get a more valuable card than what they paid for the booster in order to sell it for a monetary return.

If their main intention for opening the pack is to play draft or sealed or if they are just looking for random cards regardless of value to add to their collection, then your primary motivation is not to make money and thus it is not gambling.

Because of this MTG certainly has a stronger defense on this point than other randomized collectibles like baseball cards, gatchapon machines or even loot boxes with skins or items in them for video games, where the stuff inside are not used for any other purpose than to either keep as an asset or to sell for cash. Action needs to be taken to regulate those first before you can consider regulating a trading card game like MTG where buyer’s underlying intention can swing whether the opening of a booster pack can be considered gambling or not.

For ante, it is pretty easy to argue that ante cards are pretty much banned in all sanctioned formats and is thus they do not function in any official capacity within the way the game is meant to be played.

I personally think that the strongest argument that MTG has gambling elements would have to be the Pro Tour and Grand Prix events. In this case, you actually put in money to join the event for a shot at winning a cash prize and the outcome is heavily influenced by the luck of the draw. I think this is the reason why they give you random junk like random play mats and pens and promo cards so that they can argue that the entry fee is for those instead of a chance to win the cash prize.

James Forinash says:

Simple, it is not gambling currently. The best way to defeat all three of your points is case law – look up lawsuits in the 90’s and 00’s vs Topps, Pokemon, and Pinnacle.

With MTG, paying for cards to play with is not gambling. You have tangible goods when you buy them and WotC doesn’t give you $X if you pull a Masterpiece or Mythic. This translates to digital goods as well. The purpose of the cards (digital/paper) is to be played with. The fact they can be sold is secondary (aka secondary market). This doesn’t make it gambling as defensed in the lawsuits. This is definitely a loophole to the three elements: consideration, chance and a prize. However, trading cards and playing cards have been around for over a hundred years and you will have a tough time winning a case when others haven’t been able too. If someone wins versus the sports card companies, then you can worry about MTG.

XvSkItZvX says:

You don’t need to give those judges the valuable card, cause, “they just do it for the children”…..Is it any wonder that phrase is creepy anytime it’s used?

Trap sensation says:

It’s always been gambling people at my shot litterally say they are coming there to win and hopefully gain money before leaving

Tony Shiakallis says:

The packs aren’t opended to make money, they are opened to play a game.

Shataraterevar says:

Legally speaking they estabilished it’s not gambling about 20 years ago… so there is no point in this video.

MagicalTabletopGirls says:

They don’t reprint cards because Reddit doesn’t want them too but hey guys it’s totally not rigged guys. We want people to play this game. We wont make it affordable, but we want people to play it. When will they just be bought out already?

chidori says:

yes it is the fact that you always get something is just an excuse, it is usually garbage you buy the pack only for one reason to get the good stuff

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