Video Game Loot Boxes deemed as gambling in Belgium

This year, governments and countries around the world have been evaluating loot boxes in video games. Discouraged by Gamers, it has become an infamous growth in revenue for video games. Many mobile games and online video games have added loot boxes as a system. Some governments are considering loot boxes as a form of gambling because users rely on chance to earn good in-game items. Recently, the Belgian Gaming Commision has declared randomized loot boxes as a “game of chance” in 3 games: Overwatch, CS: GO, and FIFA

Repercussions

The Belgian Gaming Commission stated the “games don’t disclose the odds of receiving specific in-game items.” The three games must remove their loot boxes or be in criminal violation of the country’s gaming legislation. The fine is €800,000 and five years in prison for the operators. Clarification on who would face the consequences in the company remains to be determined. If the loot boxes affect minors, the punishment is doubled.

What happens next?

Minister of Justice Koen Geens wants to work with the gaming companies, developers, operators and the Belgian Gaming Commission to determine who should be punished for loot boxes. Belgium is one of the first countries that took a stance against loot boxes in games during the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 controversy. Hawaii, Washington D.C. and several countries are trying to create laws to limit the purchase of loot boxes in games.

Sources:

Koen Geens – Minister of Justice

Arstechnica

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