I'm not sure if its intended to catch the unwary, or they just don't think about it this stuff from a Western point-of-view. I mean, perhaps this acceptable in Korea and this is a difference in cultures?
You are making a valid point in your post but I think you are unaware why the system it's like it is, why Lilith is no different from most asian mobile games out there, and why games will continue working like this for a long time.
1. Asian cultures strongly believe in luck, fate, numerology. It's been deeply ingrained in their culture for centuries, gambling is a normal social activity.
2. Point 1 explains Asian addiction to gambling. *According to Dr. Timothy Fong, an associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, the rate of gambling addiction ranges from 6 percent to nearly 60 percent, depending on the specific Asian ethnicity (Southeast Asian refugees scoring highest) as opposed to the national rate of 1-2 percent.*
3. In Asia this type of commercialization method is accepted without much opposition, unlike here in the west.
4. Read this: http://www.serkantoto.com/2012/02/21/ga ... ial-games/
or google what is Gachapon applied to free-to-play social games (this method is being used in many western games already).
5. This model is a BIG success, the west included.
There have been cases where game companies went full gambling mode and regulations have been imposed in Asia but this monetization model isn't going away anytime soon. Maybe in the future more regulations will be imposed to reduce the gambling aspect, or more gamers will get fed up with it and companies will be forced to change their methods.
Doesn't mean I agree with how the game works but it's better to be aware of the risks.