The mental health director of the National Health Service in England, Claire Murdoch, has gone on record to state that she believes that loot boxes are pushing young people into gambling in later life.
In a report published on the NHS website, she stated;
Frankly no company should be setting kids up for addiction by teaching them to gamble on the content of these loot boxes. No firm should sell to children loot box games with this element of chance, so yes those sales should end
While I'm no great fan of loot boxes, it seems a bit of a stretch to me to blame loot boxes on a potential future gambling addiction. There's currently no regulation on loot boxes in the United Kingdom, but some countries have taken steps to ban them, and most developers are now moving away from the practice.
Murdoch also called on game developers to stop implementing loot boxes, or at least add spending limits, provide odds, and take steps to support parents on the risks associated with loot boxes.
The report claims that the NHS have discovered "numerous" cases of children spending money behind their parent's backs, with one case highighting a 15 year old child spending over £1,000 in an unknown "shooting game".