To appreciate this story, one has to first understand the concept behind a mufti and performing something that’s against the religion of Islam. A mufti, as explained by Wikipedia, is a group of “Islamic jurists qualified to issue a nonbinding opinion (fatwa) on a point of Islamic law,” determining whether doing something is against the religion, otherwise known as haram. So bear this in mind when you read the news that the Malaysian Federal Territories Mufti’s Office released a statement calling out lockboxes as gambling, which is haram.
“Ownership (of said items) is only valid by placing a bet. If luck is on the players’ side, they can obtain the items by opening only one loot box. However, it is possible that players will not be able to get the items (they want) even after dozens of attempts. […] Such a concept (loot boxes) is prohibited in Islam because it contains elements of gambling.”
The mufti’s opinion singles out PUBG Mobile in specific (referencing Unknown Cash in its statement), while Malaysia’s other most popular mobile game, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, also has lootboxes in it. The mufti’s office is advising Muslim players to avoid buying keys to open lootboxes and is advising those who have bought keys already to repent regardless whether they did it on purpose or not.