It looks like it's starting to sweep Europe too, so that's nice to see.
The counterpoint people might use against it as not gambling (which I don't agree with) is that with gambling as it's currently defined you're putting money into a pot with the known risk of receiving absolutely nothing. With loot crates you will 100% of the time receive something for your purchase even if most of the time it's garbage. I think that's splitting hairs on a technicality, but that's the fight getting rid of this shit is going to face.
I have no idea why people decide to die on this hill, but to add to your point I would argue that gambling is all about risking an outcome you want vs an outcome you don't. Doesn't matter if the result is trash, losing money, or whatever; the fact of the matter is you're risking money to potentially receive the outcome you want. Anything short of receiving that exact outcome you wanted is a state of loss and thus it's gambling by any definition.
That said, the entire practice was built upon the idea of towing a thin line.
EA may have done us all a favor and finally tipped the boat on loot boxes as Chris Lee, a Democrat from Hawaii, is launching a state investigation into predatory practices in gaming.
It's been a long time coming and I think the mix of a property like Star Wars, the overstepping of EA's progression design, and just some good ol' fashion Internet mobbing finally started to get the attention of people outside the industry.